New York Marriage Equality: The Post-Vote Blame Game

Here are the eight "no" votes from Democrats on marriage equality in New York state today, along with their email addresses if you'd care to speak your mind. The percentage before their names (thanks to Towleroad commenter Tanner) represents — FYI — their 2008 general election percentages.

53% Aubertine (Upstate) –
53% Stachowski (Upstate) –

58% Addabbo (Queens) –

81% Onorato (Queens) –

93% Diaz (Bronx) –

93% Kruger (Kings) –

100% Huntley (Queens) –

100% Monserrate (Queens) –

Looks like efforts need to focus on Queens, where four of the eight senators reside.

Joe Sudbay at Americablog notes:

Ny In New York, a lot of gay money was spent to
help Democrats retake control of the State Senate in New York last
fall. That was documented in a piece in the New York Times on October 26, 2008, which included this excerpt:

from trumpeting their involvement, gay rights groups have been largely
silent about their role in Senate campaigns for fear of raising the ire
of social conservatives. But a review of campaign finance disclosure
forms shows that gay and lesbian advocates have become a quiet but
potent force this election season.

All told, gay rights groups
and donors affiliated with them have given a total of at least $480,000
this year to Democratic Senate candidates and campaign funds controlled
by Democrats, according to the most recent disclosure documents
available. Much of that money was donated in the past month and pointed
at a handful of competitive races, campaign finance filings show.

Important to remember Tom Duane's note though: "Today also brought home the fact that the State Senate must maintain a
Democratic majority– and in even greater numbers. It was only under
Democratic leadership that this vote was possible. We must also have a
Governor willing to sign marriage equality into law."

Duane seemed confident before the vote that he had the numbers. I wonder where and why the rot began.

Of course this does not excuse the Republicans.

There were NO Republican "Yes" votes. 

You may recall that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he could get a couple of Republican votes but then backtracked on those claims in mid-October.

Meanwhile, Log Cabin Republicans have been trumpeting since April that there were strong chances for Republican support because party leadership was allowing them to "vote their conscience."

Their homophobic, bigoted, religiously-influenced consciences, apparently.

So what did the Log Cabin Republicans do following the vote? They blamed Democrats:

"Today we share in the frustration and disappointment that the Senate
did not pass the marriage equality bill. We are deeply saddened that
the Democratic Conference failed to secure the votes they promised,
undermining the possibility of a credible bipartisan vote of conscience
on the merits of marriage equality. Winning marriage equality in New
York requires the Democrats to keep their promises, and Log Cabin will
continue to work to ensure that Republicans vote their conscience when
that finally happens."

It's important to remember that a few years ago we wouldn't have even imagined taking a vote on marriage equality, so, yes, we have made progress, even in losing.


  1. Attmay says

    Way to spin it in Democrats’ favor. Both Republicans and Democrats are to blame. Bigotry crosses party lines, why can’t you see that? It is Christianity that is to blame for this bullshit.

    There should be rioting in the streets over this.

    I LOATHE New York.

  2. daftpunkydavid says

    thanks for highlighting bloomberg’s complete ineptitude in delivering votes. i STILL have the bitter taste of the backstabbing we suffered from Bloomberg after Hernandez v. Robles back in 2005 i believe. and his *third* campaign, the way he played politics with our rights… i’m furious. i could say that i hope he dies a miserable, pathetic, lonely, slow and excruciating death. i could…

    the log cabin repubs must be schizophrenic cause their grasp of reality is absurdly off. i mean, really? it’s one think to hold conservative ideals; it’s another to have blind, knee-jerk, partisan reactions. when did republicans last advance a pro-equality measure of any kind? exactly.

    as for the devil’s 8… see you in 2010. i hope for those who survive that election, if there are any, that their power in the senate is so diminished that they’ll just quit or something. the ny democratic party shouldnot have them in their ranks in the first place.

  3. johnosahon says

    @Attmay | Dec 2, 2009 7:44:43 PM

    WTF are you talking about?

    Spinning in democrat’s favor?

    Let see,


    more like he is spinning it in FACT’s favor.

    i do agree that religion is to blame though.

  4. rich west village says

    It’s sad to see that the no votes from the Democrats included minority senators (including Hispanic, African American & female). They of all people should be sensitive to civil rights issues. I for one would much rather have a Republican in their place…at least we know what we’re getting.

  5. Ron says

    That Log Cabin Club statement is truly twisted. What is wrong with their basic cognition?

    I vote for a peaceful Times Square + Albany rally/protest every night.

    This back of the bus stuff is getting tiring.

  6. db says

    To Rich West Village: Why is there always a thought that because a person is Black, Hispanic or Female it automatically makes them an ally when the Gay community isn’t consistently an ally to those groups.

    The Gay community is full of bigots who are never called out. Racism and Sexism (hell even ageism) is rarely discussed in our community.

    The problem is that we still don’t know how to reach out to the religious groups and tell them that they can do whatever they want to do in their churches. This is about legal civil rights not religious.

    We also need to do more outreach to the minority community both Gay and Straight. That is the only way we will get equal marriage rights.

  7. JeffNYC says

    That was a very powerful post, Andy. You have no idea how inspiring you are when you get fired up like that.

    We love you very much and thank you for everything you do: for the gossip, for the cute-boy pics, for the astronomy and, especially, for what you do for us on days like today.

  8. Glenn says

    The LCR’s are ridiculous, but their statement does suggest something to me — reading between the lines, of course: The Dems must have promised, say, 26 votes, and then there were 6 Republicans who were willing to vote yes to make up the 32 needed. And when it became clear that the Dems did not have 26 — e.g., when Addabbo voted no — then those 6 Republicans said they were not going to buck their party for the sake of a bill that was not going to pass. At least, that’s what it sounds like.

  9. daftpunkydavid says

    glenn, i think you got that exactly right. that’s my uninformed, exterior impression as well; but it does sound like a very plausible political ploy. i hope someone leaks something to the press in the coming days!

  10. Trog says

    Why does everyone thing it will be easy to oust the Dems who voted against marriage equality? They live in conservative districts. If someone challenges them in a primary election based the grounds of their marriage vote, well, it might not work.

    plus: I agree with Glenn re: the Dems failed to reach a certain quota and the GOP therefore withheld the votes it had. Disgusting nonetheless.

    Also: anyone have any idea what’s going on between Empire State Pride Agenda and Tom Duane? Notice how ESPA didn’t thank Duane in its press release? There’s a history of tension there, and I would instinctively side with ESPA,which knows how to play hardball.

    Duane might be well-liked and openly gay and the guy who carries the bill, but bottom line: He failed to secure the votes from his own party.

  11. walter says

    much has been said about Gov Paterson and his abilities to govern New York but he has shown himself willing to fight an unpopular fight to the very end He stood his ground and deserves our support for relection. He handled himself well and good friend, better than Obama who wants to force him out
    remember this at election time

  12. Erin says

    To Rich West Village: Although I agree with you that this is the way things should be, I think that this line of thinking is exactly why it’s not. We go around saying, “Oh! The blacks know what it was like to engage in a civil rights battle, to be suppressed, so they must AUTOMATICALLY be on our side! And then our community fails to properly communicate with their community. It’s counterproductive. We need to get better at communicating, and then the rest of the minority groups may well be more likely to join our fight.

  13. Jason says

    republicans generally suck. but come on . . . when the dems have a majority in the senate and can’t pass the bill it’s hard to point the only fingers at the repubs. it’s like if health care doesn’t pass in congress. the u.s. senate is fillibuster proof! DADT and DOMA should be repealed with several votes to spare!

  14. ED2 says

    community outreach?!?

    who’s buying this load of bull!

    it’s nonsense. The NYC leaders, including the repugnicans know better. They know that voting yes for equality is the best direction for the city and state. Of course, more outreach needs to take place, but to blame the current reach or lack thereof is horsesh*t! These “leaders” are the problem and it should be laid squarely at their feet.

    All the rest of the finger pointing may have validity but it sounds an awful like outsiders (non-NYer’s) trying to complicate something which is quite simple. Those who voted NO on marriage equality should be held to scrutiny and held accountable because they are fully aware of their actions and what’s at stake.

  15. David says

    This is not limited to NY, Dems across the country have let down the gay community. No Dollars until bigger moves then just Mathew Shepard. So done with the dems. At least Republicans look us in the eye before they fuck us over.

  16. Patric says

    We of course should be supporting primary challengers to these eight Dems (though many are likely not vulnerable), since it is highly likely that any general election Repuglican opponents will be as bad, if not worse, on issues of equality for gay people.

    However, though these eight are horrible and we should work to replace them with pro-equality Dems where possible (like pro-equality Assemblymember Jose Peralta in his primary challenge next year to that criminal Montserrat), let’s not forget that the biggest obstacle to equality in New York as everywhere in this country is Repuglicans. What you really need to post is a list of all the Repuglican senators who got under 60% of the vote in their last election. Some of those seats might represent opportunities to put in a pro-equality Dem.

    The significance of the 2010 election in New York cannot be overstated. If the Repuglicans retake the Senate, they’ll control the redistricting that will take place after the 2010 census and could gerrymander districts to assure that they remain in control for decades, as happened over the past few decades. We need to target anti-equality Dems but, as importantly, we need to target vulnerable Repuglicans and make sure that the party which was united in support of discrimination and bigotry today – as on all days – does not take back control of the State Senate next year. If they do, don’t even expect to get a vote on equality in 2011. They’ll keep it from coming to the floor.

    Glenn, you are likely correct about there being some sort of understanding by which Repuglicans on the fence indicated they were only willing to vote for equality if enough of the fence-sitting Dems did so to make passage possible but how does that make the Rethuglican performance today any less despicable, as the vile Log Cabin types would suggest? They’ve opted to make their bed with members of a party whose base is right-wing bigots and so somehow we’re supposed to hold them to a lesser standard or only expect them to publicly express their support for equality and incur the wrath of the wingnuts if they can be assured that we can pass an equality bill? Twisted, twisted, twisted, like everthing that comes out of the mouths of those Log Cabin losers.

    Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised. This is what the Log Cabin morons had to say following McBush’s selection of Palin as his running mate last year: “Alaska Governor Sarah Palin can help Sen. McCain win this election by appealing to independent and young voters. She’s a mainstream Republican who will unite the Party and serve John McCain well as Vice President. Gov. Palin is an inclusive Republican who will help Sen. McCain appeal to gay and lesbian voters.”

  17. Tyler says

    Well said Patric. Either way, we need to help Democrats ensure a win in 2010 to allow for districts to be redrawn in their favor. Then, perhaps, we can see some real change. It’s unfortunate that political moves like this one are the reason for this.

  18. BrooklynRider says

    My letter to Carl Kruger

    Mr. Kruger-

    Apparently your memory isn’t serving you very well today. In 2008, the Democratic Party appealed strongly and frequently to the LGBT community for help in winning a NYS Senate majority. We delivered in the form of money, manpower, and financial support. How quickly you forget.

    We maintain that same ability and, although you won the last election comfortably, I suggest you prepare yourself for the coming onslaught. You have proven yourself to be an enemy of the LGBT community. I can assure you that I and my friends, both gay and straight, now commit to defeating you during the next election cycle. We shall not only seek to unseat you from the Senate, but we shall work strenuously to destroy your chances of ever holding public office again as you have attempted to destroy the rights of the LGBT community.

    You have picked a fight and we are going to bring it to your doorstep. Your actions have just united a community against YOU.

    Brooklyn, NY

  19. 24play says

    Hmmmmm . . .

    I seem to remember Towleroad Political Director Corey Johnson enthusiastically endorsing Michael Bloomberg for a stolen third term as mayor earlier this year.

    That would be THE SAME Michael Bloomberg who, according to Gay City News, provided an “extraordinary level of support for the Republican State Senate caucus during the past two election cycles, 2005-6 and 2007-8 — when he contributed $1.175 MILLION in total to its campaign coffers.”

    But Bloomberg’s support of anti-gay Senate Republicans didn’t stop at that paltry figure. GCN continues, noting that “a separate $1.2 MILLION contribution the mayor made last year to the New York State Independence Party was used to support four Senate candidates, including Padavan and two other gay marriage opponents . . .”


    But now Towleroad is a font of outrage over the failure of marriage equality to pass in the Senate.

  20. Blake says

    The LCR statement is absurd. But the Republicans were at least consistent with their party platform. The problem here is with the Democrats – as a group they’re spineless even when they have the majority. I’m finished supporting candidates based on promises. Now my money goes to funding the opponents of the people who screwed me – even to the benefit of a Repub candidate over a Democrat. I’d rather know my enemies and be able to count them than continue to be stabbed in the back.

  21. FunMe says

    The gay republiCONs statement: oh please. Those queens are so transparent!

    The LOG CABINETTES have just dug themselves a deeper whole. They have done NOTHING to advance GLBT equality.

    But then they are part of the “PARTY OF NO” … what do you expect?

  22. NADA says

    From rich west village
    “It’s sad to see that the no votes from the Democrats included minority senators (including Hispanic, African American & female). They of all people should be sensitive to civil rights issues. I for one would much rather have a Republican in their place…at least we know what we’re getting”

    Posted by: rich west village | Dec 2, 2009 8:11:51 PM

    Richie Boy…Why are you so hell bent on still blaming minorities for this. After all 9 African American St Senators voted for marriage. That’s not GOOD ENOUGH for you? When a multitude of Caucasians voted against it????? I guess that’s exceptable. My goodness just plain idiotic and stupid.

    Will you please stop creating anger levels based on race whomever is against us is simply NOT FOR US and we fight back against them not giving one group a pass and running after another to cover up the other group!

    HOMOPHOBIA is HOMOPHOBIA and God help these folks who keep using religion as their reason to keep another group down!

    As a Native New Yorker this is sad. I would have never thought in NY they would be so behind in the times! WOW…SMDH

  23. Dave says

    Screw protesting on Times Square and the steps of the Capitol; save those for the kiss-ins!

    Picket the local offices of the Senators and Assemblypersons who voted against the bill.

    Picket Catholic and Orthodox Jewish services across the state! The Archdiocese is proclaiming how it protects the children and saves families.

    Point out some of the more … unsavory … dictates of their holy text, the ones their parishioners are less likely to know about. Point out the moral failings of their religious leaders. Point out how much they spent on these issues while not reinvesting in the Church. And cry out, cry out against divorce!

    Always peaceful, never personal, of course. Remember, hate the sin, but love the sinner. 😉 The fault is not religion; it’s abuse of religion. Use their tools against them.

  24. says

    @NADA: EXACTLY! I couldn’t get my mind around why I get SO pissed when Blacks get blamed for every Gay thing that fails. You nailed my anger, the whites who voted against it were more than the Blacks, so, why do we get the blame?

    Would it make any sense for me to be scraeming “the whites hate Gays”? And I’m tired of hearing that “Blacks as a culture are homophobic.” By that reasoning so are Asians, Latins, and, um, WHITES.


    Bigotry comes in all shades. There were some great people working on this issue and to turn it into a racial pile on just negates everything. It doesn’t even give those people time to reflect because the conversation always gets twisted to pointing fingers.

    We lost because of hate, not race.

    Now, get the Fuck back on the horse and ride back into the fight.


  25. Gregoire says

    The Log Cabin Republicans statement is ridiculous, but what else do you expect them to say? Their whole premise is a fallacy and they have to continue to spew their doublespeak and bizarre forms of logic or else collapse weeping into their hands.

  26. Warren says

    Patrick, I agree that all members with a percentage of 60% or less should be published and an effort to replace them with members who support full civil rights in NYS. Our overall strategy in NYS must be focused on placing representatives in office that are on the right side of history period!

  27. Glenn says

    BTW, back at Patric’s comment: First, absolutely agree with you re how critical it is that Dems control both houses after 2010 in order to control redistricting.

    Second, I never intended to suggest that the LCR’s position was justified, I’m with you, they’re pigs. Was just trying to make some sense out of what they were saying factually.

    Finally, just one note for everyone who is bashing the Democrats as a whole here because they have a “majority.” They have 32. 32 was needed for passage. In other words, without some Republicans, they needed every single vote. I have a hard time getting too upset about not being able to hold 100% of your caucus together on something like this. It’s just not ever going to be a realistic expectation.

  28. John says

    Three of the four who threatened to defect to the GOP voted against it. In retrospect, the Democrats should have probably let those four go Republican and stayed in the minority. And then try to unseat them with more loyal candidates at the next election. Instead, they are now stuck with four Benedict Arnolds sitting in safe Democratic districts.

    I will hand it to the Republicans on organization though. They pretty much goosestep in in total unison. Out of 218 Republicans in the House and Senate, two Republicans and Arlen Specter voted for the stimulus package. Exactly one Republican defected for health care reform. And it isn’t just New York, folks. It is actually very common to see each and every Republican legislator vote against ANY gay rights measure in state legislatures across the country. One should admire such efficiency.

  29. says

    I think you should post up a contact list of those who voted “yes” on it. Even though we didn’t gain anything, I think it’s important to thank the people that put forth an effort so that they will know it was appreciated. I mean, we get such little support in things like this that it would be nice to acknowledge the people who do support us.

  30. Chitown Kev says

    @Derek Washington

    Man, you’re better than I am. Watch this.

    FACT: 9 of 11 black NY State Senators voted for marriage equality yesterday.

    Therefore, might it be that the black political community is for gay equality (including marriage)?

    Think back on Melody Barnes.

    It’s the black preachers that are against it. The church crowd.

    Now primary the 8 out that voted against marriage equality (in reality, we could topple 3 or 4 of these homobigoted Dems).

    But with the possible exzception of Malcolm Smith, the black churchified community may attempt to primary out some of those black Dems that supported marriage equality. Our community had better be there having those Dems backs as well.

  31. rich west village says

    @ NADA & Derek WA

    I merely pointed out that I could not understand how someone who must have experienced discrimination want to discriminate against someone else. I am not blaming or singling out the black community or any other group. Minorities are usually the ones that experience discrimination the most. I don’t appreciate your assumptions.

Leave A Reply