The Log Cabin Republicans have joined New Yorkers for Marriage, the coalition of LGBT groups which already includes The Empire State Pride Agenda, the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and Marriage Equality New York, in an effort that will hopefully generate some support from the other side of the aisle.
With the addition of the Log Cabin Republicans, the coalition now includes all five leading LGBT rights organizations operating in New York State.
The announcement by the Log Cabin Republicans of New York–representing Republicans who support fairness, freedom and equality for gay and lesbian Americans–reflects the bipartisan support in New York State for allowing all loving and committed couples to marry. Support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will be needed for passage.
“Marriage is not a progressive or conservative issue. It’s an issue of equal rights for taxpaying citizens of this state,” said Gregory T. Angelo, Chairman of the Log Cabin Republicans of New York State. “For the first time, we are truly united in our fight to ensure every single New Yorker has the right to marry the person he or she loves.”
Earlier this week, the NYT reported that New Yorkers for Marriage would mount a "a short, disciplined and intense run-up to a vote in the State Legislature."
In related news, the Ithaca Journal reported on some of those lawmakers on whom the group will be focused in this short period, and where they stand on marriage equality. The lawamkers include Rochester-area Sens. James Alesi and Joseph Robach, and Greg Ball of Carmel, Putnam County.
Ball has only supported civil unions and not marriage, but told the paper right now he doesn't have a position.
Robach made this statement: "For over a decade, I have supported civil unions that would give all New Yorkers and their partners a multitude of legal rights and benefits."
But Alesi said he is "undeclared." Alesi was seen as a key vote for gay-rights groups in 2009, and many believed he planned to support it. But in a memorable scene on the Senate floor, Alesi — the first Republican to vote on the bill — held his head in his hands and quietly said "no" when his name was called.
Alesi said he took issue with the vote then because he believed Senate Democrats were trying to score political points in advance of the 2010 elections, and it came amid the state's fiscal crisis.
Alesi was among Senate Republicans that gay-rights groups sought to ouster in last year's election, but they were unsuccessful. Still, he said he's keeping an open mind on the issue.
Earlier this week, Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr, perhaps the loudest anti-gay voice in the state senate, slammed Governor Andrew Cuomo for launching the campaign during Holy Week and urged his colleagues and constitutents to oppose it.