So What’s Going On With The New York Marriage Equality Bill Anyway?

It looks like the beleaguered GOP caucus in the New York Senate is still figuring out whether or not to vote for marriage equality, even though the state Assembly has already passed it 80 to 63.

The Senate vote may be delayed until next week, but so far two GOP senators have so far pledged to vote “YES” for marriage equality alongside the Democratic Caucus.

Will one more GOP senator vote “YES”?

Call these “swing” senators to ask them to swing our way. Lady Gaga did (even though her Telephone headdress was used in the assembly to argue against marriage equality).

If Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos doesn’t bring marriage equality to a vote by the end of the legislative session (which ends next week) or the bill doesn’t get passed, you can bet your sweet ass that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo will give Skelos hell for embarrassing them and blunting all lobbying efforts. Also New York’s LGBT community come down upon the GOP Caucus and anti-gay senator Ruben Diaz “with the force of a thousand violins.”

That’s not my line—it’s a line from New Jersey born gay playwrights Christopher Durang’s show The Nature And Purpose Of The Universe. That line rawks—use it everyday each day for the rest of your life.

Example: Ooooh, gurl. Once I get ahold of her thievin ass I swear I’m gonna come down upon her with the force of a thousand violins!

See? Fun.

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  • Eric

    You got me all excited for a video of a thousand violinists serenading Diaz…

  • Eric


    Roy McDonald is one of the two Republicans mentioned in the article that have already said they’d vote for the bill. We still need one more.

  • AxelDC

    Mayor Bloomberg knows that NYC is losing a lot of money to DC, Boston, Montreal and Toronto. Gays can get married in any one of those fun cities and have it recognized in the State of NY. Instead of fabulous gay weddings and receptions at the Rainbow Room, they are being held out of state and importing the license. In Hizzoner’s eyes, that’s a big waste of revenue heading out of the city.

    Montreal and Toronto openly compete for gay American tourism. Shouldn’t NYC get in on the game?

  • Josh6852

    1 more vote/Gay Marriage will be Leagalized in New York. Please take time to call all of these senators. First ring ALL picked up. I said..” My name is _______ and I believe they should Pass the Marriage Equality Bill.” Be someone who makes a difference for someone else and their families. People from all over the US are calling against this bill. Now is the time to speak, whether you want to marry or not.

    Andrew Lanza 718-984-4073
    Greg Ball 845-279-3773
    Kemp Hannon 516-739-1700
    Charles Fuschillo 516-882-0630
    Betty Little 518-743-0968

  • robert in NYC

    The bill is supposed to be voted on by days’ end according to Dean Skelos.

    I tried calling the numbers that Josh6852 provided yesterday, but most of the lines were jammed. I suspect many of our opponents were actively trying to jam the lines. A catholic bishop from Brooklyn is already in transit to lobby GOPers to vote NO, nothing new there. Greg Ball et al wants more protections to be included, such as allowing individuals to discriminate in housing, small business such as florists, caterers, printers, etc…without fear of prosecution. He said the bill doesn’t go far enough even though no religious denomination or their affiliates and facilities will be obliged to participate, an opt out clause if you will. But no, that’s not good enough for them. It may fail anyway, but I hope I’m wrong. If it fails, then they will agai prove they are the party of hate.

  • tallest

    @Jadedbycolor: lol. Firstly, I think you meant “homos”. Secondly, we don’t want your respect. Respect neither required nor desired. Thirdly, Nature doesn’t really do laws. Except, you know, shit like physics (and we are working on circumventing those). Fourthly, your next sentence is so poorly constructed I’m having difficulty making heads or tails of it. Fifthly, you either mean “you’re persistent” or “your persistence” or possibly “you’re fabulous”, personally I’m going with the 3rd option. And finally, fuck you, your creator, and the backassward plane you flew in on. Troll.

  • robert in NYC

    Marriage equality vote is postponed until monday, folks!

    No. 8, thank you! They know we’re winning, slowly, but surely, that’s why they act so desperately by trolling gay sites. Odd isn’t it how they know where to find them? What straight male in his right mind is going to waste his time doing that I wonder? He’s actually helping Queerty by posting here, dumb ass that he is. Of course, he wouldn’t know about that. A homophobe helping a gay site make money is hilarious.

  • SteveH

    The Republicans are looking for a way to defeat this bill without losing their seats in the next election.

    After wrecking the economy, and spending two years trying to prevent the economy from recovering, they will very likely lose their seats anyway.

    Keep up the pressure. If you live in New York, NOW is the time to write a letter and make a phone call.

  • Elloreigh

    Republicans are basically trying to poison the bill by requiring extreme accommodations for religious beliefs that would provide legal cover for businesses and individuals to discriminate against gay people.

    If they manage to attach those provisions, the bill should indeed be voted down. Trading marriage equality for legally sanctioned discrimination = no sale. Not unless gay people get an equal exemption that allows the to discriminate against anti-gay religious bigots.

    Doesn’t look like New York is going to get marriage equality this year.

  • Ned Flaherty

    Some Mormons, Catholics, and Orthodox Jews are lobbying for exemptions to marriage equality laws in NY and other states.

    But equal transportation laws have no exemptions that deny public transport to African-Americans just because some bus driver worships at a bigoted church. Equal housing laws have no exemptions that deny apartments to Latinos just because some landlord worships at a bigoted synagogue. And the 19th Amendment has no exemption that denies a woman the right to vote just because some election official worships at a bigoted mosque. Therefore, no marriage equality law should include exemptions to let government agencies or private businesses deny weddings just because some people or religions are still bigoted.

    Same-sex couples have been marrying — safely and successfully — for over 7 years in Massachusetts, where church and state are separate, with no religious exemptions, as required by the U.S. Constitution. New York should imitate Massachusetts, and allow no exemptions.

    “Religious exemptions” are just excuses used by the Mormon, Catholic, and Orthodox Jewish sects to delay, derail, and defeat equality for everyone else. No one should fall for such trickery.

  • robert in NYC

    Elloreigh, I disagree. I think Gov. Cuomo should do a deal with the devil for now. The extra discrimination provisions in favor of religious cults can be dealt with after the fact once the bill is passed. This is a constitutional issue and should be addressed in that context, independent of marriage equality legislation. Just get it done first of all. My only concern right now is if the provisions are added, Cuomo should get guarantees from the GOP that the bill will pass on monday or whenever, otherwise, the deal is off. He needs to know who the 32nd voter or more will be before he agrees to concessions.

  • bob

    Any politician that insists on exemptions for a government contractor is hopelessly corrupt. The fact that the contractor in question is a church doesn’t mean it’s not all about the money.

  • SteveH

    It is appropriate to protect the religious freedom of churches and their ministers.

    It is not appropriate to provide exemptions to for-profit businesses. It is also not appropriate to exempt any “public accommodation”, such as a restaurant or hotel.

    The difficulty seems to lay in the grey area in-between those two broad categories.

    What about a church that offers rooms for rent? What if those rooms are in hotel, owned as an investment, but not otherwise associated with the religious mission of the church? What if the owner or manager of a hotel is a devout Catholic, and a deacon in the church?

    Other states have dealt with these questions. It might be appropriate to copy their statutory language.

  • robert in NYC

    SteveH, if the government sees fit to grant tax exemption to religious denominations, such denominations should NOT be exempt from or above the laws of the state or country particularly when they violate their status according to the IRS code as it applies also to non-profits. These extra concessions are doing just that. They should NOT be interfering in politics or legislation, nor should they be lobbying although they are allowed to in order to influence how voters wish to vote according to their conscience. They circumvent the law by not directly endorsing a candidate by name but it is clear who they are supporting. Its dishonest and hypocritical. It is NONE of their business. This is a civil matter. Civil marriage is not the same as religious marriage. The sooner denominations accepted that fact, the better off everyone will be. If they want to play that game, then gay businesses and individuals should be allowed to discriminate against religious people. We too find their behavior harmful and a menace to our very existence. After all, we pay taxes and are entitled to freedom of speech too. Fair is fair. Why should these denominations pay no taxes and get a free pass? Its wrong, very wrong. They (the roman cult) is morally bankrupt anyway given its abysmal track record in recent years.

  • Elloreigh

    @robert in NYC: Sorry, but you’re dreaming. The Republicans aren’t going to vote for this even with those religious exemptions, and they know Democrats won’t either. It’s a stalling tactic to run out the clock.

  • bystander

    can anyone tell me why a 32nd vote is needed? 31 will tie it up right, since there are 62 seats? Why couldn’t you pass it with 31 votes and the Lt Gov breaking the tie?

  • robert in NYC

    If the rent control and property tax issues aren’t resolved to the GOP’s liking, Dean Skelos will probably block the marriage bill coming to the floor for a vote which means we’ll be waiting another year. What that means is, it would give the republicans cover and then put the Democrats on the offensive taking the heat for failing to get it voted on. Republican political games as usual. They just don’t want to have it passed.

    Even if every religious concesssion to the marriage bill were given, it doesn’t necessariliy guarantee at least one more vote to get it passed. The GOP has the democrats over a barrel and they know it. Forget about getting it passed in 2012. No republican is going to support it with a general election around the corner, not even the two who’ve reversed. When push comes to shove, they all vote in lockstep, the party of hate. Our political system stinks.

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