State Sen. Tom Duane was the man who took it upon himself to bring marriage equality to the Empire State. Whether you want to say “he failed” or “the effort failed” is up to you. But now that gay New Yorkers remain without their marriage rights, the blame game is being played, and Duane drew the short stick.
Aside from pointing fingers at State Senate Republicans — all of whom voted “no” — it’s Duane’s campaigning to drum up support for the marriage bill that’s being fingered as a failure. “It didn’t help that the Democrats responsible for corralling the votes were less than suited to the job,” opines Jacob Gershman. “Senator Tom Duane of Chelsea is the gray-haired lion of the local gay rights community. But as his meandering, choked speech on the floor suggested, his appeals to his resistant colleagues were emotional, and not aimed at their colder sense of prudence.” And his allies weren’t much better: “The Senate leader, John Sampson, who endorsed the legislation only when he assumed his leadership role this year, has proven to be a skilled conciliator but not an enforcer. He and his aides were seen scrambling for votes minutes before the count. Governor Paterson is in such a weak position now that he’d have better luck herding cats than getting the Democrats to head in one direction or another. And Pat Lynch, the star Albany lobbyist for the bill, found her reach more limited in the Senate than it was in the Assembly.”
That Sen. Duane is an emotional politician isn’t news. Neither is it news that Daune believed he had the votes to shore up support. But was the senator’s uh, very angry delivery at last night’s postmortem rally in New York City (see below video) evidence of his post-vote furor, or his ineffective means of creating support from his colleagues before everyone cast their votes?