David Paterson | Gay Marriage | Joe Bruno | New York | News

Former NY GOP Senate Leader Joe Bruno Supports Marriage Equality

The times are changing, and quickly.

Earlier in the week, the New York Daily News' Elizabeth Benjamin reported that Governor David Paterson was trying to enlist former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, a Republican, to lobby members of his party to vote in favor of the marriage equality bill.

Bruno  New York magazine wrote: "As the News recalls, Bruno once referred to homosexuality as an 'abnormal lifestyle' and denied Senate staffers domestic health-insurance benefits, though by 2002 he had evolved enough on the issue to push the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act through the Senate. Despite that apparent progress, in 2007 Bruno refused to bring a gay-marriage bill for a vote in the Senate, and just last year he threatened to pass a Defense of Marriage Act to negate Paterson's directive to state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state. Of course, what really ticked Bruno off about Paterson's directive is that it bypassed the legislature, a supposedly outrageous affront to the majority leader's power and authority. Now Paterson may truly need Bruno's help in securing a historic gay-rights achievement, and Bruno is apparently 'considering' the offer."

Well it appears he's considered it. Says Bruno in a new interview: "It's time. Now. For the government to back off, let people make their own life decisions, and about how they care about and who they don't care about...."

By law, Bruno must wait two years to directly lobby state lawmakers (he's been out of office one year) but feels merely making his opinion known could change some minds.

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. More proof positive that, for many of these hack politicians, opposition to marriage and other gay rights issues is totally insincere. It's a pandering dance they do. Question is, what steps can to taken to convince these whores to walk the other side of the street?

    They care about 2 things, raising money and getting reelected. Threaten or guarantee their capacity to both, and they're yours for a few hours. All politics really is local, and it's increasingly at the district level that these fights need to go on.

    Calling Gill Action!

    Posted by: Clay | Jun 10, 2009 8:56:55 AM

  2. Exactly, Clay. Barack Obama no more cares who you marry than he cares which shampoo you used this morning. He was trying to be the first black president and, last summer, he couldn't have the marriage equality wedge issue standing in his way.

    But what's his excuse for not leading now? The Republican party is increasingly becoming the party of marriage equality, it seems, while our black president says and does nothing and is protested by Russians for his civil rights stance! This is not what I voted for.

    Posted by: ohplease | Jun 10, 2009 9:44:56 AM

  3. "The Republican party is increasingly becoming the party of marriage equality..."

    I think I can safely state that this will be the stupidest and most ignorant statement I read on the internet all day. And it's early yet! Congratulations, OP.

    Posted by: Glenn | Jun 10, 2009 10:02:52 AM

  4. I agree with Clay as well. I guess it's some sort of cold comfort that it would seem the hurdle is more political maneuvering and not out-right bigotry (though there is still plenty of that as well), but it's still frustrating all the same (to put it mildly).

    Posted by: ichabod | Jun 10, 2009 10:27:06 AM

  5. Politics is a messy business. Let's just be happy that the Republicans are coming around. Our ultimate victory will happen when the GOP gets on board with marriage equality. It really looks like it's starting to happen.

    Posted by: Pender | Jun 10, 2009 10:31:53 AM

  6. Also, yes, the gay community owes a debt of gratitude to Steve Gill of a magnitude that very few people realize. I hope I get a chance to shake that guy's hand someday.

    Posted by: Pender | Jun 10, 2009 10:32:51 AM

  7. this is intriguing:

    Posted by: sunny | Jun 10, 2009 10:47:33 AM

  8. Bruno has nothing to lose now so it is easy for him to make a statement that would inflame the "base."

    If he were still in office, it would be another story.

    Posted by: Charlie | Jun 10, 2009 4:13:28 PM

  9. demonizing the GOP and all conservatives has been a huge error made by a gay rights movement that has allowed itself to be dominated by those more interested in far-left agendas than gay rights. had we been cultivating our relationship with fair-minded people of all political persuasions we may have reached our goal of equality sooner, but i'm pleased to see that the times they are a-changing.

    Posted by: el polacko | Jun 11, 2009 1:07:20 AM

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