It was just last week New York Gov. David Paterson demanded we “take a stand” against inequality and get the State Senate to pass same-sex marriage legislation. Now, after introducing his own bill, Paterson says he’ll defer to Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith.

That’s the same Smith who, in order to score the majority leader position, agreed to Sen. Ruben Diaz’s concession not to bring a gay marriage bill to the Senate; otherwise, Diaz and two other senators vowed to withhold their much-needed votes for Smith as majority leader.

Paterson maintains it’s not necessarily about passing marriage equality legislation (although it is), but rather debunking the unwritten legislature policy of only bringing bills up for a vote when senators know they can pass. Paterson wants a debate on gay marriage. Indeed, even we’d like each senator to declare, on the record, whether they support this legislation … so we know who not to re-elect.

So if Paterson’s bill is in Smith’s hands, what’s its future?

Unless something changed, Smith will bury it. It was only Friday he said he had no intention of bringing the bill up for a vote, because he knew he didn’t have the votes.

Smith, who says he fully supports gay marriage — but quite enjoys his position of power — will then have no choice but to secure Republican votes to pass the bill. Except if Smith is a man of his word, he must make good on his promise to the bigoted Sen. Diaz, and keep gay marriage off the docket.

Although if the Democrats were elected officials of their word, they’d be doing everything they can to make good on the promise to legalize same-sex marriage.

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