New York

Do Paterson & Bloomberg Actually Have a Shot at GOP Gay Marriage Votes?


When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he would try to “influence” State Senate Republicans to get on board with Gov. David Paterson’s marriage equality legislation, many on the GOP’s side of the fence rolled their eyes. Though gay marriage supporter Bloomberg is a Republican-Independent, not even the Democratic-controlled Senate was fully on board with Paterson’s push, so what hope did he have to get Republicans on board?

Quite a bit, it turns out.

Democrats carry a 32-30 majority in the Senate, and four of them already said they would vote against the marriage bill. (Sen. Ruben Diaz, who caused this clusterfuck in the first place, is among them.) Which means Republican votes are required to get this thing passed.

But GOP leadership in New York is reportedly giving Senate Republicans the all clear to support Paterson’s measure with “conscience votes,” rather than sticking to party lines and voting against the bill as a group.

Which means Bloomberg’s effort — and Team Paterson’s — might actually have a chance of working.

Making things more interesting? It was only 2007 that GOP leadership demanded Republicans vote against a marriage equality bill when it was up for vote in the State Assembly.

And if our elected officials were to listen to constituents, which they claim to do, this would be an even easier debate: The latest poll shows 53 percent of New Yorkers think the Senate should pass Paterson’s marriage legislation; 39 percent do not.