discrimination: 1

FAIL: New York Senate Says NO to Gay Marriage


(Item updated.)

BREAKING: By a vote of 24-38, New York’s State Senate has voted against same-sex marriage legislation.

After demands for a vote on the bill, we finally received one. And it wasn’t the answer we were looking for.

Among the “no” votes, inexplicably: political dancer Hiram Monserrate.

Says Sen. Tom Duane, the bill’s lead sponsor: “I wasn’t expected to be betrayed, and so I have some justified anger. But it’s just going to propel me to – I don’t want to say redouble my efforts, because my efforts have been pretty strong – but I’m not going to let up. I’m angry. I’m disappointed. I am let down. I’m betrayed. But I am not going away.”

Don’t state lawmakers piss off their constituents all the time? Like, by hiking taxes, or eliminating educational funds? Of course! That’s their job! But legislators don’t let voters choose what to do on all those issues. New York State Sen. Ruben Diaz, last seen praying to keep gays from marrying, just finished testifying in front of the Senate today, and told colleagues they must “let the people decide” on same-sex marriage. That is: Let voters choose whether or not discrimination against an entire class of New Yorkers is permissible. Lawmakers making the rules “is wrong.”

He closes (rush transcript, errors possible): “This is the day that the lord has made. This is the day that we must decide something that will affect a lot of people and … is important … to me, important to Tom Duane, important to some of you, important to the whole state of NY, and to the whole nation. God bless all of you, and thank you.”

UPDATE: Debate has ended. Voting is underway!


There are, however, some sound voices: “This is not a matter of religion, this is a matter of equality,” says Sen. Eric Schneiderman. “This does nothing … to heterosexuals. … No religious institutions [are affected by marriage equality]. … Our human rights laws stay the same. … It does not affect religious institution. … This bill hurts no one. … I urge you, my colleagues, don’t get distracted, keep your eye on what this is about. Vote for justice, vote for equality, vote your affirmation for the proposition that all men and women are created equal. Vote yes. Please. This is our moment.”


Sen. Eric Adams: “The same statements being made about Tom Duane falling in love with someone … that’s the same comment that my grandmother received in Alabama when she wanted to marry my grandfather. And they used religion. … For interracial couples to fall in love, it was an abomination, it would destroy the institution of marriage. This is what we heard. … I know some people say, ‘Don’t try to make this a civil rights issue.’ I hear that comment. … I respect the opinion of my colleagues that have religious beliefs. But when I walk through these doors, my Bible stays out. I must pass laws that not only protect one part of the state but the entire state. And there’s something special about New York. We have the legacy of setting the tone for the rest of the country. This is an important issue. And I’m asking us to send a message across the country that we are not going tos it on the sidelines … in the contact sport that we call life … Don’t try to make this bigger than this is. Two individuals came together … love each other … want to marry each other. … We are reaching back into one of the ugliest periods in America and bringing back the same quotes that were said back then. I’m not going to be a part of that. … I’m going to be a part of change. I’m going to be an agent of change. … You don’t have to be gay to respect the rights of those who are. You don’t have to be black to understand the pains of slavery. … You don’t have to be gay to respect that two people who meet each other and fall in love want to get married.”

Sen. Jeffrey Klein: “I want to apologize to the advocates [who don’t know why it’s taken so long to get a marriage vote]. … We owe it to the entire gay community around the state to pass this legislation.”


Sen. David Valesky: “This bill does not, could not, and as long as our Constitution remains the law of the land, could never affect in any way, shape or form, and compel any house of worship, to do anything that is against their belief system. … It is very clear this bill is about a civil, legal committment that provides benefits to same-sex couples. For those reasons, I will be supporting [it].”


Sen. Pedro Espada Jr: “If this vote were taken in my district today, marriage equality would fail. … Others have talked about this not being about religion or morality. … My mind has been made up, a long long time ago. … Let’s not be scared into ignorance to think that it’s not morally correct to allow same-sex couples to enjoy the same rights as opposite sex couples. That may take a long time to sink in and become part of the social and cultural fabric. It is historically correct. … Let’s write this headline for the New York Times … for my 10th grandchild … let’s send a message for hope. Let’s set forth a drum beat of equal rights for all by voting yes today. … I would encourage those undecideds to vote yes as well.”


Sen. Diane Savino: “I hope that we are going to make that history here today. I hope that we are going to take that step forward to continue the promise of Thomas Jefferson. … This vote is not about politics … it’s not about who contributed to what campaign. … this vote is about an issue of fairness and equality. … Religious institutions can continue to practice discrimination. … We have nothing to fear from love and commitment. My only hope, Tom [Duane], is that we pass this bill, the governor signs it, and we can learn from you.”


Yea Eric Adams (D)

Nay Joe Addabbo (D)

Nay Jim Alesi (R)

Nay Darrel Aubertine (D)

Nay John Bonacic (R)

Yea Neil Breslin (D)

Nay John DeFrancisco (D)

Nay Ruben Diaz Sr. (D)

Yea Martin Malave Dilan (D)

Yea Tom Duane (D)

Yea Pedro Esapda Jr. (D)

Nay Hugh Farley (R)

John Flanagan (R)

Yes Brian Foley (D)

No Chuck Fuschillo (R)

No Marty Golden (R)

No Joe Griffo (R)

No Kemp Hannon (R)

Yes Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D)

No Shirley Huntley (D)

Yes Craig Johnson (D)

No Owen Johnson (R)

Yes Jeff Klein (D)

Yes Liz Krueger (D)

No Carl Kruger (D)

No Andrew Lanza (R)

No Bill Larkin (R)

No Ken LaValle (R)

No Vincent Leibell (R)

No Tom Libous (R)

No Betty Little (R)

No Carl Marcellino (R)

No George Maziarz (R)

No Roy McDonald (R)

No Hiram Monserrate (D)

Yes Velmanette Montgomery (D)

No Tom Morahan (R)

No Mike Nozzolio (R)

No George Onorato (D)

Yes Suzi Oppenheimer (D)

No Frank Padavan (R)

Yes Kevin Parker (D)

Yes Bill Perkins (D)

No Mike Ranzenhofer (R)

No Joe Robach

No Saland

Yes John Sampson

Yes Diane Savino

Yes Eric Schneiderman

Yes Jose M. Serrano

No Jim Seward

No Dan Skelos

Yes Malcolm Smith

Yes Daniel Squadron

No Bill Stachowski

Yes Toby Ann Stavisky

Yes Andrea Stewart-Cousins