Gay Marriage | New York | News

NY Senator Schumer Comes Out in Support of Marriage Equality

And the tide shifts a bit more.

Following a Sunday night meeting with the Empire State Pride Agenda at New York's Gramercy Tavern, New York Senator Charles Schumer has done an about-face and come out in support of marriage equality, according to an announcement sent out by ESPA:

Schumer "[Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan] Van Capelle said that during the meeting, Schumer pledged his support to repeal DOMA and, in the interim, to work to provide federal recognition and portability of benefits to legally married same-sex couples. Sen. Schumer is Vice Chair of the U.S. Senate's Democratic Conference and the highest ranking member of the Senate to endorse marriage equality. Among other topics discussed at the meeting were continued HIV and Ryan White Care Act funding, appointment of openly LGBT people to the federal bench, special issues facing LGBT youth and seniors, the U.S. Census, and passage of a trans-inclusive Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) and hate crimes legislation."

Present at the meeting were Van Capelle, philanthropist and former GMHC board president Jeff Soref, Assembly members Daniel O'Donnell, Micah Kellner, and Deborah Glick, and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Schumer previously supported civil unions, saying he believed marriage to be between a man and a woman.

Gillibrand The NYDN reports: "It's hard to overstate the significance of this in the eyes of gay marriage advocates. (Recall that one of the first issues Gillibrand "evolved" on was marriage, although her office has insisted she always personally supported it). Clinton's departure from the New York political stage arguably gave Schumer some breathing room on this issue. Both Clinton and Schumer were under pressure from the gay community (which includes some very heavy-hitting political donors) to change their position from supporting civil unions to backing marriage, but they both refused to budge. While Clinton was running for president, there was no way Schumer could move on this topic - no matter how much he might have wanted to follow the lead set by then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his LG, David Paterson - especially since Barack Obama also took the civil-union-only approach."

Vancapelle Said Van Capelle (pictured): "I want to thank Sen. Schumer for his support of marriage equality and the repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. Like a majority of New Yorkers, Sen. Schumer recognizes that only marriage equality provides same sex couples the status, protections and rights afforded to all other Americans. We look forward to working with him to win marriage equality in New York State and around the country."

Schumer's statement on marriage equality as posted by Politico: "It’s time. Equality is something that has always been a hallmark of America and no group should be deprived of it. New York, which has always been at the forefront on issues of equality, is appropriately poised to take a lead on this issue."

At the Human Campaign Rights dinner in New York in early February, Schumer talked of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, hate crimes legislation, and ENDA, but made no mention of same-sex marriage. Watch his appearance there, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Sorry boys and girls Chuck Schumer is a major tool. Bought and paid for by big moneyed Wall Street and Insurance types. He’s also a Likud violence only fanatical supporter of Israel. He sold out the middle class along with fellow ass hat Steny Hoyer with the 2005 bankruptcy reform act. That lets Corporations walk away from promised employee pensions but lets bottom feeding collection agents go after ordinary Americans literally for decades over small debts. Do not trust this creep at all.

    Posted by: ggreen | Mar 23, 2009 12:25:36 PM

  2. Schumer is the kind of moral defective politician who never does anything merely because it's "right." There was some sort of backroom deal here, and my guess is it involves either ousting or keeping Gillenbrand.

    Posted by: KipEsquire | Mar 23, 2009 12:51:18 PM

  3. All of these sudden "changes of heart" in the New York Democratic Party wouldn't have anything to do with politics would it? You think? Heh.

    With Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions now out of the picture, there's no need to maintain the pretense that any of them are actually against same-sex marriage. There will be no viable national candidate from New York for them to appease in the forseeable future. Moreover, Hillary's annointed successor Gillibrand and Schumer are probably trying to outflank Attorney General Andrew Cuomo on the left (who's reportedly more popular than either of them). New York voters are becoming increasingly liberal on the issue.

    Posted by: John in CA | Mar 23, 2009 1:38:17 PM

  4. Isn't it our duty to support those who support us?

    Posted by: | Mar 23, 2009 2:55:34 PM

  5. Is Schumer running for re-election next year? I mean, it is that time when reelection campaigns are being mounted and ramped up. Oh Chucky, was there a cameraman somewhere, hmm??

    Posted by: Marcel | Mar 23, 2009 3:54:44 PM

  6. Anyone have a full list of pro-marriage equality senators? We've got to be in the double digits. The tide is definitely turning.

    Posted by: Aaron ARowland | Mar 23, 2009 4:10:47 PM

  7. Phew! Now I can stop having pizzas delivered to schumer's congressional offices. It was exhausting. And chucky's no worse than hill dawg. Can't believe she replaced moynihan.

    Posted by: TANK | Mar 23, 2009 4:13:50 PM

  8. he's a pussy for waiting until after the election to reveal this is how he really feels.

    Posted by: Daniel | Mar 23, 2009 4:18:25 PM

  9. I assume that this is paying back Pride Agenda for their immediately supporting Gillibrand after her selection by Paterson despite her poor history of support for the LGBT community. It did seem as if there had to be some sort of backroom deal.

    Posted by: silverkjk | Mar 23, 2009 4:40:21 PM

  10. I think that's greatly overestimating the power of the ESPA...backroom deal? LOL! Chucky doesn't have to do a damn thing for teh gays, and still win with ease. In fact, only a handful of politicians do nation wide, and we've not really created the conditions in which they have to. As if the entire political might of gay advocacy groups in NY could have prevented gillibrand's appointment...

    Posted by: TANK | Mar 23, 2009 4:52:12 PM

  11. The important fact is that he came out publicly and supported us. I don't give a crap it took so long for him to do it... he's done it! Now if we could just get Feinstein off her butt to do the same thing! I haven't checked, but think Boxer is already supported us. Good point from the other comment... where is the list of our supporters! The tide is turning... yeah!

    Posted by: Mike | Mar 23, 2009 4:53:27 PM

  12. I put together a rough list of strong LGBT allies in the US Senate, based on support for marriage equality, a No vote on DOMA, and a 100% rating from HRC for the past session. Some strong allies didn't quite make the cut, but 10 US Senators (that I could find) publicly support marriage equality, and over 10 more make the cut in the other two categories. I just put people on one list, even if they made multiple lists, for counting sake. Let me know if I missed someone! It was a quick search online.

    Publicly announced support for gay marriage:
    Kristen Gildebrand
    Chuck Shumer
    Dianne Feinstein
    Barbara Boxer
    Ted Kennedy
    Russ Feingold
    Al Franken (not quite confirmed yet)
    Sheldon Whitehouse
    Jeff Merkley
    Ron Wyden

    Voted no on DOMA:
    Daniel Akaka
    Daniel Inouye
    John Kerry
    Bernie Sanders
    Sherrod Brown

    100% from HRC 2008:
    Chris Dodd
    Frank Lautenberg
    Robert Menendez
    Patrick Leahy
    Maria Cantwell
    Patty Murray

    Posted by: Aaron ARowland | Mar 23, 2009 4:54:20 PM

  13. I'm sure ashamed of you supporting gay marriage!
    If you vote for this, you will never get my vote for anything.
    I thought you were a good representative for our state, but I have changed my mind now.

    Posted by: James Allen | Mar 23, 2009 9:31:29 PM

  14. I am very disappointed and no longer proud to have you as our Senator from NY. I could not believe you are voting for gay marriage. I guess I was wrong when I thought that you were a Christian and knew right from wrong. You no longer have my respect or my vote unless you have the guts to rescind your support publicly for gay marriage.

    Posted by: Phyllis Allen | Mar 23, 2009 11:07:05 PM

  15. Respect he'll sorely miss, I'm sure. Good riddance.

    Posted by: TANK | Mar 23, 2009 11:13:21 PM

  16. good one, TANK. at least we know that the ALLENs are bigots. they must be from upstate.

    Posted by: nic | Mar 24, 2009 4:42:59 AM


    thanks for the update. of course, they're all democrats. this is why i have always been a yeller dawg dem. liberal socialism will forever trump modern-day republicanism, and liberterianism is a diluted form of republicanism.

    Posted by: nic | Mar 24, 2009 10:15:40 AM

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