NY Governor Andrew Cuomo: No Vote on Marriage Equality Unless Votes are There in Senate

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo won't risk a marriage equality vote unless the votes are there in the Senate, he told reporters today, following the introduction of a same-sex marriage bill by Daniel O'Donnell in the Assembly yesterday.

Cuomo Said Cuomo, according to Capital Tonight:

“This has never been about, on marriage equality, a vote in the Assembly primarily. the assembly has passed it before. People expect it will pass again. The question is what’s going to happen in the Senate. The discussions that I’ve had with the collective group that is working on this in a unified way is we want to pass a bill. we don’t want to bring a bill up in the Senate that will fail, right? We don’t want to have an instant replay of last year. It’s not about having a vote for a sake of a vote. It’s about if it’s going to pass. and the conversations we’re having now will education as to whether we’ll bring the bill to a vote.”

In February, Cuomo told a group he was speaking to at Hofstra University that "We’ll be working very hard to pass it." Shortly thereafter, a group of LGBT advocates held closed-door meetings with the governor.

In May, Cuomo told reporters: "I think the best way I can get legislation to pass is by going to communities across the state and making my case to the people." The Times-Union also reported that a robo-call paid for by The Democratic State Committee in support of marriage equality had been recorded in which Cuomo voiced support for passage of the measure.

To win in the Senate, advocates need to swing the votes of a handful of Republicans who voted against the bill last time.

As I mentioned yesterday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has launched a $1.5 million anti-gay campaign in the state which includes a TV ad and a pledge to actively oppose lawmakers who support the bill.


  1. daftpunkydavid says

    sure you know who to blame, bruno. there is a roll call for the 2009 vote. if you’re concerned about this year, i think it’d be helpful to start calling your legislators.

  2. Paul R says

    I agree that it’s better to avoid another failure to pass than to have a replay of last time. If failures on equality become common, it could affect the sentiment of legislators and the public in NY and elsewhere. Recall that it took a while to recover from the widespread debacles of the 2004 anti-marriage votes. Even though things have changed a lot in a short period, it’s still better to avoid defeat.

    Someone needs to investigate NOM funding. I’d love to know how they can come up with $1.5 million so quickly to fight this battle in one state. I guess the Mormons and Catholics will pay whatever it takes to block our rights.

  3. Jollysocks says

    On “avoding defeat” — if it doesn’t come up for a vote, then it is defeat. That’s how NOM has been running around calling Maryland and Rhode Islands “wins”.

    I also get tired of us whining about where the money is coming from. Does it make a difference if it’s coming from the Mormons or from the palm of Satan himself?

    We need to focus in on these undecided senators, and we should be putting the fear of God into them if they don’t vote with us (as the other side is doing)

  4. Phil says

    I think there is an advantage in publicizing where the money came from. Assume for the sake of argument that it came from the Catholic and Mormon churches. If that information has been withheld up to now, it means that they are *ashamed* of what they are doing. Shame, and fear of being shamed, is a very powerful force, and it’s savvy to capitalize on that.

  5. Bruno says

    @Daftpunkydavid: Thanks for the advice. My legislators are all in California though. Also, the 2009 roll call was from an assembly with a different make-up. And besides, how do you know whether or not Addabbo would vote differently, for instance, if he isn’t forced to vote this time around?

  6. Rowan says


    How has “shame” worked on the ALL the churches that were involved in ALL the marriage defeats?

    California for instance….has it changed anything?

    I’ve even seen many ex gay mormons or gay mormons still stick by their church because their family ‘HAD’ to vote against it.

    No one is feeling guilty in churches. Don’t live in lala land, this is how you failed all the x amount of times.

    NOM are also powerful enough to STILL not reveal their donors so why waste the time?

    Stick to a winning strategy.

  7. daftpunkydavid says

    @ bruno: i would say if you don’t live in new york state, the next best thing is to donate to “new yorkers united for marriage”. i’m sure you can still call and/or write, but the impact would be lessened. writing an actual letter by hand, however, may still have some effect, even if you are from out-of-state.

    finally, i get the understandable urge to pin someone on their vote, but we’ve been there in 2009. the new legislature in the senate is largely unchanged. i don’t want to lose a vote every time there are a few new member just for the sake of “knowing where they stand”. we can know where they stand by calling and writing them and making sure they publicly say they support us. the people who are vacillating, hesitating, on the verge, whatever you call it, are known. addabbo is one of them. he already voted no in the past. having him vote no again is useless.

  8. ken says

    Having a vote is important. We need to know which candidates to support and who to work to defeat. As we found out last time, several people we thought were on our side really weren’t. There a several new senators since the last vote and I want them on record as with us or against us.

  9. Mark says


    “On “avoding defeat” — if it doesn’t come up for a vote, then it is defeat.”

    Does it really matter? Whether there is no vote or there is a vote and it fails, the end result is the same.

    “We need to focus in on these undecided senators”

    THERE ARE NO UNDECIDED SENATORS. My understanding is that right now they’re six votes short of the minimum needed for passage. Three of those votes will need to be from republicans. When did you ever see a republican legislator at any legislature vote FOR gay marriage?

    The people need to put down whatever they’re smoking and when they get sober start directing their energies where they should be directed: electing pro-gay legislators. Does that kinda make sense when you’re stoned?

  10. Ken says

    “When did you ever see a republican legislator at any legislature vote FOR gay marriage?”
    To be fair, there are some Republicans in the NY Assembly who voted in favor of marriage equality. And I also recall a few Republicans supporting it in Vermont and New Hampshire when it passed. Getting Republican votes is difficult because of the pressure they get from their own party, but I don’t think it is impossible.

  11. mcNnyc says

    I understand Gov Cuomo’s reason and it’s political…but so is his work on this. by taking no vote, he risks no capital and keeps the gay dollars rolling into the Democratic Party. Remember there is a big fundraiser Gay Pride Weekend for the DNC and ReElection of Obama and there is a lot of GayTM’s that have to be accessed.
    AND he can claim he’s on our side while taking our money.
    I ask again, if it’s Republican votes we need…why is there no pressure on the GOP backroller Mike Bloomberg to make good on HIS commitments?

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