After last week’s ruling by the New York Court of Appeals that suggested lawmakers and not the Court should be the proper arbiters of whether or not same-sex marriage is legal, gay rights groups as well as opposing “family” groups are looking to political leaders to clarify their statements on the issue with action.
Both New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Eliot Spitzer have said in the past that although they support gay marriage, they looked to the state’s laws for ultimate guidance on their actions and have thus legally opposed same-sex marriage proponents up till now.
Now that the court has ruled that the legislature must see to it to get same-sex marriage laws passed, Bloomberg has said he will do what he can to make that happen: “The court said it’s not unconstitutional to have a law that determines who can marry who. And, so, now, what we have to do, if you believe that marriage should be between people if they want to do it, you go to the Legislature. And I said I would do that.”
Spitzer has promised that as the state’s governor he would introduce same-sex marriage legislation. Said his spokesperson Christine Anderson: “…he personally is in favor of gay marriage. As governor, he will draft and propose legislation to change that law.”
Both Spitzer and Bloomberg have deftly stepped around the issue as it has made its way through the court system, while Senator Hillary Clinton continues to play a game of dodgeball with the issue, judiciously avoiding the terms gay and marriage with overarching phrases like “full equality”. Senator Chuck Schumer took the most nondescript stand of all, echoing both Clinton’s and the Court of Appeals’ decision. But, of course, he’s not likely running for President.
Can a politician that publicly views homosexuality as “normal” be elected to lead the country? That is the question Hillary seems to be trying to answer as she plays the waiting game and careens toward 2008 without a stand on same-sex marriage that satisfies a large portion of gay voters. Certain potential candidates with nothing to lose seem willing to take the chance and pay whatever political price may follow. Now that the Court of Appeals has made its decision and turned the magnifying glass toward the New York legislature, can Hillary stick to her position and avoid getting burned?