New York Senate Rejects Same-Sex Marriage

For some time here in New York, gay rights advocates and their supporters have been pushing lawmakers to take up the gay marriage question. While our state already recognizes same-sex marriages that have been performed in other states, it does not currently allow same-sex marriage at home. So it was an extremely disappointing decision yesterday when the New York State Senate rejected the Marriage Equality Bill (S4401) by a vote of 38 to 24. Although New York Governor David Paterson supported the bill, and the state Assembly had already passed it, it clearly didn’t have enough support to pass the marriage law. Not surprisingly, not one Republic voted “Yes” for the bill, and several democrats voted against it. For a full list of how the Senate voted, click here.

Same sex couples can legally marry in five states, four of them in the northeast. Now that New York has unfortunately missed this opportunity, we’ll be keeping our eye on New Jersey, where the legislature is expected to vote on gay marriage in the next month or so. Yesterday, over two hundred New Jersey democrats, including lawmakers, lobbyists and activists, issued a letter calling for the gay marriage vote. It’ll be close; a recent poll showed that voters there support legalizing same-sex marriage by a mere four point margin. Unfortunately newly-elected Republic Governor Chris Christie said he would veto any such bill.

It’s obviously disheartening that our state missed this opportunity to take a stand for equality and put an end to gender discrimination. It’s tough to deal with set backs like yesterdays, and like the ones recently in California and Maine, but those working in the equality movement will continue to persevere. The fight is just beginning.