NY Governor Cuomo: ‘Time For New York To Lead The Way’

Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that he expects marriage equality to come to New York by the end of next week's legislative session.

Cuomo The New York Times reports:

Mr. Cuomo told reporters he believed that religious concerns should be separated from a debate over civil marriage. “I happen to be a Catholic, and that’s my business, and that’s my religion,” he said. “This has nothing to do with my beliefs as a Catholic. This is marriage in a civil context — marriage as defined by government, not by a religion.”

Likening the prohibition on same-sex marriage to earlier bans on interracial marriage, Mr. Cuomo said he was encouraged after talks with Republican lawmakers and confident that a marriage measure and his broader agenda would both be approved next week. “This state has a proud tradition and a proud legacy as the progressive capital of the nation,” he said in a hallway outside his office. “We led the way, and it’s time for New York to lead the way once again.”

Meanwhile, state senator Greg Ball, who was one of those who was firm about having religious exemptions in the marriage bill, asked his Twitter followers "if you were me, how would you vote on gay marriage? Yes or No?" Tweet him now to show your support for marriage equality!

Ball's Facebook page has also blown up with comments from both sides of the marriage equality debate.

It's very important that you call or email the senators on this list and tell them to vote for marriage equality in New York.


  1. Mike says

    I’m not a NY resident – so don’t think I’ll tweet Greg Ball however… I did a quick look at his web page; and he seems fairly progressive for a Republican. That said, seems surprising that he has such a stance. Maybe this is just his way of getting some free publicity (which all politicians need and crave). That said, perhaps in the end he’ll vote yes. What say you New Yorkers who know him?

  2. Rick says

    Well, to be fair, DC is not a state and 3 out of the 5 states that have legalized marriage only have it because of a court decision. Only two states have actually legislated same-sex marriage into existence and both have small, relatively homogeneous populations.

    New York would be the first state with a large, diverse population to legalize same-sex marriage through a democratic process–and it would have national implications in a way that passing such a law in Vermont just doesn’t….

  3. Robert says

    NYC the progressive capital of the nation? Really? I think Boston can take credit instead considering it wasn’t legislated in Massachusetts which also led on universal health care in its state. New York should have been the first, the leader, but it “isn’t”, although its significance might have more of an impact elsewhere.

  4. Robert says

    Greg Ball is a coward like most of them in the GOP. Since when does putting a question to one’s constituents as to whether he should vote yes or no have anything to do with doing the right thing? A civil right put to referenda? Absolutely not! Its clear this man has NO conscience but is a political whore who would sell his own flesh and blood out for power and money.

  5. Tyler says

    Passing it through a Republican Senate in the 3d largest state is certainly more leadership than failing to get it through a 90% democratic legislature, as in RI, or a 70% democratic house of delegates, as in Maryland, or failing to even have it be on the table for discussion, as in the democratic legislatures of Washington, Hawaii, Illinois, Delaware, etc.

  6. Steve says

    I think the religious exemption part at this point is about the money. There already is religious protection in the New York law. Besides a way to stall, you can look to recent events in Illinois to see why they want it stronger. Catholic Social Services who were contractors of the state for adoption services have ended their relationship with the state since Civil Unions came into effect. Because they don’t want to turn children over to gay couples. They claim victimization but its really about money. They can always raise Catholic funds and discriminate all they want. They can choose to only work with Catholics if they want. But as soon as they take state funds which are provided by ALL taxpayers, they need to cease discrimination. They don’t want to do that and whine that they and many children are victims.

    Seems to me that in New York they are holding out for state funding and the ability to discriminate as well.

    I hate to say it, but if that’s what it takes to benefit the thousands of gay families in New York, I’ll take it. The families need the benefits of marriage now. The rest can be fixed a few years down the road.

  7. Rin says


    that pendulum swings both ways. I like my representative to represent me, not himself. Try living in a state under George Allen or some other nazi Senator and have them vote for war or some other ideal you can’t support.

    Sure when it benefits me, I would like them to vote their conscience instead of what my knee-jerk neighbors want. But when it doesn’t like the Iraq War…I want them to listen to me kick and scream. We are, all of us, selfish that way.

    Still, for better or for worse, I say let the Republic work as such. There is momentum to gay marriage now. It will happen across the country.

    A Democratic system has its pitfalls, but I’d rather have a representative do what I ask him to do than make decisions that don’t reflect my values after I put him or her in office with my vote.

    If the idea is NOT for them to represent us then why vote at all?

  8. Rin says

    Thought of a better way to put it…

    Do you want a Mormon or Evangelical voting their conscience if their constituents support gay marriage? Because that has happened before.

  9. Bill says

    Exactly right, Robert! (Both of your comments.) Besides the obvious cowardice of the Republicans — this wait for one more of them to have the guts to do the right thing — what I am wondering is: How does the Catholic church get to be political lobbyists (speaking out directly against the NY Marriage Equality bill) and retain their tax-exempt status? Tax the bastards! I’m sick of all the pandering politicians do to those who try to impose their foolish mythologies onto others.

  10. says

    Hey, I live in VT, the first place to have CUs and the first state to successfully enact marriage equality via the legislature and over a Republican governor’s veto. But if Gov. Cuomo wants to call NY the progressive capital of the nation, that’s fine with me–as long as marriage equality becomes a reality in NY. Adding NY to the tally of marriage equality states will be a huge win for our side. Not a time to quibble about firsts.

    As for Senator Ball, his Facebook page is open for comments. If you “Like” him (I held my nose and clicked the button), you have a forum to urge him and anyone who reads his page to vote the right way. One small thing even non-NYers can do.

    I wrote:
    Senator Ball: If you believe that your gay constituents are equal citizens in the state of NY, there is no rational reason to exclude gay couples from full civil marriage equality. The marriage equality bill before you will infringe on no religious liberties, and the historical trajectory is clear. Those who vote Yes, in favor of marriage equality, will be on the correct side of civil rights history. Those who vote No will rightly be seen, in the not distant future, as supporters of unjust discrimination. The Senators of NY have a clear choice before them today. Help ensure that it is one you will be proud of in the years to come. This isn’t a liberal vs. conservative issue: it is a basic human rights issue.

    Add your voices, folks.

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