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NY GOP Senate Leader Dean Skelos: Put Republicans In Power And We’ll Bring Marriage To a Vote

Getting the New York State Senate’s Democratic leadership to bring same-sex marriage legislation to a vote last winter was an exercise is seeing grown men and women play hide-and-seek: Nobody wanted to take responsibility for ducking Gov. David Paterson’s demands to at least give the issue an up or down say. And while the vote eventually came on Dec. 2 (it was a No), the Senate’s Republican leader says that if his party regains control of the chamber in next month’s elections, he’ll revisit the issue.

State Sen. Dean Skelos remains opposed to gay marriage, but he’ll let senators vote on it if the GOP picks up the necessary seats to reassert control, which it held for more than four decades until 2008. Speaking to a group of Log Cabin Republicans in New York, Skelos says his party could upend the 32-30 majority Democrats now have, and if that happens he’ll even “let” his party peers deliver a “vote of conscience” — itself a stark departure from what happened last year, when no Republicans voted for the bill, because they banded together in discriminatory opposition.

Says Skelos: “When we win back the majority, let me say there is legislation that all of you are interested in that I believe should be voted on again. We are not going to stifle discussion, we are not going to stifle votes, and it’s truly my belief that people should be allowed -especially legislators, that’s what we’re elected to do- to vote their conscience.”

Does that mean gays should back a Republican ticket in New York? Hardly. Even if this bill gets to the floor in the hands of Republicans, it’ll be as difficult to pass, if not more so, than last year. Especially if they put Carl Paladino in the governor’s mansion.

(NB: Says Skelos of Paladino’s comments: “I think they were inappropriate and he’s apologized for them. I just read the extensive apology and really what we should move on to is discussing taxes spending and job creation. I think that’s where the debate should move to.” Paladino’s running mate, Greg Edwards, was in attendance.)

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  • Jim

    Of course he doesn’t mind putting it to a vote with Republicans in power. They won’t vote for it anyway!

  • Cam

    Yeah, he’s opposed to gay marriage, wants it to not pass, and if his party wins he’ll put it to a vote.

    We won’t WIN, but he’ll vote on it…gee, thanks.

  • Ryanthehulk

    I don’t get the why the GOP (the GOP establishment anyway, save for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida) have against gay marriage. Let gays get married and they can form stable family units, buy gas-guzzling SUVs to take the kids to soccer practice, and start accumulating generational wealth, boom new Republican voters.

  • Jaroslaw

    1. Basic human rights should NEVER be voted on

    2. The Rethuglicans always claim they are against MORE government so why all the extra rules to discriminate against Gays?

  • tjr101

    What’s funny is if the Log Cabin Republicans believe this pile of stinking crap.

    The GOP controlled Albany for 4 decades with the state deficit ballooning and corruption rampant. NOT ONCE did they bring same-sex marriage to a vote. Now, just a few months after EVERY REPUBLICAN voted NO to same-sex marriage, we are suppose to believe they will bring it to a vote?
    The Republican party both at the state and federal level never ceases to amaze.

  • Michael

    How about a vote to decide it heterosexuals can get a divorce?

  • Jaroslaw

    #6 – Michael – the “save Marriage (for Heteros only) crowd SHOULD be endorsing banning divorce since only that will truly “save” marriage, but nary a peep.

    The other thing we never hear about is how both a huge segment o of the population, (which is increasing as time goes on) are not even bothering to get married in the first place.

  • the crustybastard

    “Skelos says…he’ll even ‘let’ his party peers deliver a “vote of conscience” — itself a stark departure from what happened last year, when Republicans voted [as a bloc].”

    Ah! So on THIS issue, he promises that elected Republicans will be permitted to represent their OWN opinions instead of the opinions of the PARTY?

    Awesome. That’s progress. Before long, I bet this guy might even come to understand that all representatives, even Republicans, are actually supposed to try to represent the opinion of the people of their districts?

    Keep it up Mr. Skelos. You’re almost there!

  • Steve

    Of course they will bring it to a vote.

    They will vote “NO”.

  • Markie-Mark

    Unfortunately, John Sampson (the Democratic leader) is a major part of the problem. He is an incompetent leader, he was unable to control his fellow Democratic Senators, and, most tellingly, he financially and politically came to the aid of Huntley and Diaz in their primary bids. I think he sabotaged marriage equality purposefully. A more effective leader should take his place.

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