Morning NY Marriage Equality Update: Where Things Stand

As you may have heard, the Senate closed down last night around 11 pm to reconvene this morning at 10 am with a conference at 9:30. There are still plenty of measures left to address including marriage equality.

I know this has been going on forever, but one more call to those Senators will really help.

Here are a bunch of updates to get you up to speed:

Ny New Yorkers United for Marriage released a statement late last night after the Senate decided to adjourn demanding that a vote be taken on marriage equality, reports Politics on the Hudson:

The Senate adjourned about 11 p.m. because lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo haven’t reached an agreement on the mandate-relief portion of an omnibus bill that will also include a property-tax cap and renewal of rent-control laws. Senate Republicans, who control the chamber, had planned to conference on gay marriage after finishing its other business, but the bills won’t be ready for hours.

“The Senate has adjourned for the evening, but we remain steadfast in our demand that the Senate uphold its obligation to the people of the State of New York and allow a vote on marriage equality and other legislative business before concluding the session and leaving town,” the group said in a statement.

Politicker NY wrote, last night:

Politically, the delay tonight means any decision Republicans make on same-sex marriage would be covered on Friday, when most of the general public is already turning their attention to the weekend. But next week is also the height of Gay Pride Month, with the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising that launched the gay rights movement, being commemorated on Tuesday, June 28.

The NYDN adds:

As for same sex marriage, Skelos said the Senate GOP would tackle that issue after all other business is done Friday. "I want to have all the bills in printed, everything and then we will discuss the same sex marriage," Skelos said.

Democrats were quick to criticize the Senate GOP's actions.

"This isn’t stalling, it’s a complete work stoppage by Senate Republicans," said Austin Shafran, a spokesman for Senate Democrats. "Republican delay tactics have stopped planet Albany from spinning."

Ball Senator Greg Ball last night said he's officially a "no" vote (not a surprise). Here's his statement:

“Knowing that marriage equality was likely to pass, I thought it important to force the issue of religious protections. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the distinct opportunity of listening to literally thousands of residents, on both sides of this issue, by holding an undecided stance. I thought it was important to listen to all of my constituents and hold an undecided position until the actual bill language was written and everyone’s voice had been heard. Now that the final text is public, I am proud that I have secured some strong protections for religious institutions and basic protections for religious organizations. The bill still lacks many of the basic religious protections I thought were vital, and for this reason, and as I did in the Assembly, I will be voting ‘no.’”

Senator James Alesi said earlier last evening that he predicts there will be a vote and it will pass.

Asked if a vote will be held, he said, “Albany is not a place to make predictions as you know, but my sense is that it will.”

And will it pass?

“It’ll pass. It will definitely pass,” he said.



  1. kodiak says

    Ball asked citizens to fbook and tweet their feelings on marriage equality. He was “undecided”. He had a huge overwhelming response in favor of it. He discounted this with the reason being that most of the respondents were not from his district. Publicity whore.

    The whole thing about “protecting” the church at the expense of people is ludicrous. Like the church needs protection. Sheesh. The false piety of these guys!

  2. Mike8787 says

    Come the 2012 election cycle, I will be sorely disappointed if the gay rights movement in New York does not do all it can to roust Senator Ball from his seat — and from any future seat. He has used our civil rights struggle to gain what he thinks is political leverage in a way that is sickening and immoral. Those Republican state senators who made clear their no votes from day one may also be our enemies, but at least they are not wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    The gay rights movement needs to work to get rid of these supposedly “undecided” politicians who talk a big game but never ever seem to step up to the plate and vote for equal rights.

  3. kjpnyc says

    Let’s put our money where our mouth is and finance a great opponent against Greg Ball. He won his previous election by a narrow margin. Does anyone know about a potential pro-marriage opponent?

  4. terry says

    After including religious protections the Right will take the bill (when passed) to court citing the fact that the First amendment prohibits gov’t from making laws concerning religion thus vacating the law. No religious institution can be forced to provide ceremonies already. Republicans, by including unconstitutional language, are setting up one more delay.

  5. Robert Chapman says

    Skelos and the Republicans’ smartest strategy at this point is probably to play down the clock. They have nothing to gain by passing Gay Marriage.

    Senators like Ball are faced with the choice of winning nearrowly or losing spectacularly as their supporters, opponents of Gay Marriage will desert them in droves over a yes vote.

    At the same time, the supporters of Gay Marriage will have moved on to the next cause d’ Jour.

    The worst part of this deal is that in order to gain what he thought would be an easy victory, Governor Cuomo overplayed his hand. He may well end the session WITHOUT passing Marriage Equality, a tax cap or rent control legislation. It is hard to see how his prestige would recover from such a total loss.

  6. Robert Chapman says

    I just got a call from a group that came up on the caller id as pollresponz2011.

    It was a push poll making high pressure demands for my response. It terminated the call when I answered that no to making marriage between one man and woman the law in NYS.

    It is clear from this call that there is money to be made by providing fund raising and political organizing resources for the conservative side in this debate.

    One must question how much of the support for the “pro-Family” position stems from conscientious reflection and how much of it is driven by political operatives who have found a self-funding political rube goldberg machine.

  7. Rowan says

    Robert on your second comment, in this age with ALL the information we understand about politics and the right wing, you are STILL asking these naive questions? Really?

    And guys the issue with Ball is a shock? Really?

    Terry, duh. Even a fifth grader could’ve told the gays with their heads in the cloud that the delaying is a GOP strategy. Just like NOM will keep on taking judge walker over his prop 8 decision to court. Tactics!

    Mike8787 don’t count in. That takes long term strategic thinking which the Gay left sorely lack and struggle with.

    There are enough of the GOP, GOP allies, right wing groups, Christians groups who are at the moment wielding so much power and money so that gays will NEVER have any equal rights in the US but the ‘community’ is instead babbling on about not voting for a president to because he won’t risk his career to be a two termer, especially as he has already done so repealing DADT, calling DOMA unconstitutional, creating pride month, creating hospital benefits for gay couples and having the most gay people employed under him then any other US president.

    So come on, do you really think any kind of smart thinking about how to defeat the opposition will come from this. Pigs will fly. More of the same.

  8. searunner says

    @Robert: Two words – special session. The tax cap and rent laws will be done soon or the legislature will be called back to Albany for a special session; Skelos and every other politician knows this. Those two items will be voted on in 2011. Once they’re off the table, along with the SUNY/CUNY bill, there will be nothing for Skelos to hide behind.

    He can, of course, refuse to bring the bill to the floor. Doing so could result in a special session or seeing anothe marriage equality bill introduced in January 2012. Skelos has to decide do I bring this bill to the floor in 2011 and see it pass or have it hang over my conference until the 2012 elections.

  9. Robert says

    Rober Chapman, the GOP in our state will have much to lose if they don’t allow the bill to be voted on and passed. They’re not that strategically smart enough to realize that the 20-30+ younger voters who vote, might just be turned off to voting for them,if this stalls or fails. There are a lot of young republicans out there who aren’t so hung up on same-sex marriage.

    One thing that has never been put the GOP is this. If many of them think that civil unions at the federal level are equal to marriage, would they opt for one if they could? If not, why not, all things being equal? You’ll hear those same old lame excuses like…”oh, its what straight people do, what we’re supposed to do”, without really providing a rational response. This has more to do with bigotry and kowtowing to it. Since when does religion run rough-shod over civil issues anyway? It’s none of their damned business. How would they like it if we called for a ban on religious marriage? We could, but we don’t because we’re not that hateful or as bigoted.

  10. Robert says

    In addition to my previous post, I’d like to put the argument to Obama. Would he be comfortable having a civil union if it were available to him? I bet you he’d say no, “we have marriage, I’ll stick to that instead”. That would call his bluff and all of the other cowards, bigots and hypocrites on both sides.

  11. Paul says

    Conservative party has rejected the religious carve-outs, and the bill is therefore dead with the GOP in control. Word is legislators are calling it quits until Monday in order to avoid riots in NYC over gay pride weekend were they to kill the bill today.

  12. Ninong says

    Marriage equality in New York will probably pass in the Senate 35-27, which is why the Republicans are stalling.

  13. Jacob says

    When will liberals learn to fight fire with fire, and compare apples to apples? We need to demand that clergy & religious institutions be stripped of the right to perform legal marriages (as is the case in some European nations), and that all legal ceremonies are Unions, since the religious are claiming that marriage is a religious thing (which is NOT in any dictionary, or even the Bible, not to mention the many ways the words “marry” and “marriage” are used in ways not referring to a man and a woman, e.g., “the marriage of two ideas,” in cooking, the blending of flavors is often referred to as marrying, and it’s often used in business to describe a merger. And let us not forget it is still called “marriage” when a person – usually a man – has more than one spouse/wife.)

    We also need to DEMAND that since we are being treated as 2nd class citizens and being given fewer rights and protections under the law, we should be taxed 50% less, and be given a refund of 50% of the taxes we have paid in our lives.
    Furthermore, WHY are religions recieving “special” treament – a word often attributed to LBGTs asking for equal rights – when they pay NO taxes??? Why are individuals who are paying taxes, helping to pay the bills, being denied rights in favor of religions who pay NO taxes. TAX RELIGIONS! At one time, and probably this is still the case, the Catholic Church owned 10% of the property in Manhattan. TEN percent of Manhattan property not paying taxes!!! That’s a crime! That would go a long way to getting us out of our fiscal crisis. Religions are HUGE money – TAX THEM! They want rights and the power to control the government, but pay NOTHING to the government. Why are they allowed to make any political contributions, such as they did for Prop 8? Where’s the separation of Church & State???