New York’s State Assembly is expected to pass a piece of same-sex marriage legislation today. Just like it did in 2007, only to see the State Senate fail to push the measure through. But now that everyone’s a Democrat, it’ll be no problem, right? LOLZ!
Inside the statehouse, the bill’s openly gay sponsor Daniel O’Donnell of Manhattan (pictured right, he the brother of Rosie) says he’s expecting even Republicans to get on board. “I’m confident we will have more votes. … There’s been a sea change in the last two years.” O’Donnell is credited with ratcheting up many of the 90 expected votes out of 150 assemblymen and women, including Republican Assemblyman Greg Ball, a retired Air Force captain, who O’Donnell went after by tracking down Ball’s parents during a visit to the Capitol and pressuring them to lean on their son. We love that! Too bad Ball still plans on voting no. (O’Donnell became the state’s first openly gay assembly man in 2002; there are now four.)
But over in the Senate, Majority Leader Malcolm Smith reveals the Assembly’s efforts are futile. Without 32 votes, “I’m not bringing the bill to the floor.”
As we all know, Smith is standing behind the “if it won’t pass, I’m not bringing it up” logic, which is a farce. Rather, he’s standing firm on a promise he made to anti-gay Sen. Ruben Diaz, who refused to help anoint Smith as majority leader unless Smith promised not to bring up gay marriage. (Diaz and a group of Hispanic religious leaders are holding an anti-gay marriage rally outside Gov. David Paterson’s New York City office on Saturday.)
Of course, Smith isn’t telling anyone just how many votes shy he is of the 32 needed to move the bill, even with some Republicans joining in. All of which screams of PLAYING POLITICS WITH OUR RIGHTS. The guy isn’t even pretending like he’s trying to lock up the votes.
Shameful. (And here’s how to reach him.)