New York marriage equality likely tonight

Timothy Kincaid

June 22nd, 2011

The Wall Street Journal reports

State legislative leaders said Wednesday afternoon there are no major obstacles to a vote on whether to legalize gay marriage.

Democrats and Republicans emerged from meetings with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and said there is progress toward proposed additional religious protections that could bring a gay marriage bill to the Senate floor for a vote as early as Wednesday night. No deal had been struck as of Wednesday afternoon.

Other contentious matters concerning rent control and property tax have been resolved. The only unaddressed item of business is the senate vote on marriage equality. And if both sides are announcing “progress”, then the terms have been reached, the votes are counted, and all that is left is the orchestration of the waltz.

Here is how I predict the dance will flow:

At some point today, there will be an announcement that a deal has been reached. It will give “serious protections” to church operated marriage counselors, church affiliated adoption agencies, and maybe even church-owned campgrounds. This will be the justification given by the Republican Caucus to authorize Dean Skelos to bring a vote.

During debate, several Democrats will stand and speak of how proud they are to be part of this historic moment and how this is a grand day in equality. One Republican will stand to speak about basic equality and doing the right thing. And one Republican will stand and tearfully announce that this has been the most difficult vote in his life, how he has been torn by deeply held religious convictions but how finally it came down to the fact that he couldn’t tell the gay person in his life (cousin, neighbor, sister) that they just weren’t as good or as worthy as him and his wife.

One or two Republicans will speak about how they are torn and really love their gay friends and they are so so sorry but they just are not ready yet to change the definition of marriage. But no one (with the possible exception of Democrat Rubin Diaz) will quote the Bible or talk about “dangerous lifestyles” or utter a single anti-gay word.

Although marriage equality this year is truly the sole decision of Dean Skelos, the Republican Majority Leader, he will officially vote no. And although Skelos has framed his decision to call the vote as the decision of the Republican Caucus, the majority of Republicans will vote no on the bill. The Caucus has carefully decided who will be the votes to pass the bill and who is “not yet ready”.

And while the bill won’t actually become law until the revisions are approved by the House and the bill is signed by the governor, tonight’s vote will be what counts. The final vote will be around 34 to 28.

Champagne corks will fly, tears will flow, and politicians will beam.


June 22nd, 2011

Crossing fingers, toes, eyes, etc in hopes that you’re right on this…

David Foreman

June 22nd, 2011

Wow. Those are some pretty darn specific predictions. We’ll see how you do.
You know, they tried to get constitutional amendments to ban interracial marriage, saying it would destroy the very fabric of traditional marriage. I look forward to the day when this battle, too, is behind us, and same-sex marriage is finally just marriage.


June 22nd, 2011

If “the Caucus” is basically saying “We’re actually OK passing this, but we’re only going to allow a few of our members to vote ‘Aye’ so that the bulk of us can appease our anti-gay constituents”, it speaks volumes for how insincere our political system has become.


June 22nd, 2011

I agree with your prediction.

If any obscene amendments are included which “protect” bigoted religions from married people, they’ll all be litigated or voted away eventually.

It’s disgusting that elected representatives would treat Americans as if they were some form of supernatural evil, just as it’s disgusting that elected representatives would bow and scrape to do the will of bigoted religions and their lunatic followers.

Such are the sick, sad times in which we live.


June 22nd, 2011

Tim, From your lips to God’s ears, my friend!


June 22nd, 2011

I like your optimism, Timothy. But what about the folks talking about how society is going to be destroyed and all.


June 22nd, 2011

And then we will have a law that is in complete violation of New York’s anti-discrimination law and when we sue to bring into line we will be called anti-religious bigots attacking good Christian people for their “sincerely held religious beliefs”.

We should absolutely NOT stand for religious organizations discriminating in PUBLIC SERVICES that are PUBLICLY funded. If they want to fully fund their “ministries” THEN they will have every right to discriminate against anyone they wish for whatever ignorant or hateful reason they wish.

They can’t take state money to fund their adoption agencies and then discriminate against gay couples.

Mark F.

June 22nd, 2011

“it speaks volumes for how insincere our political system has become.

~Has~ become? LOL. It was otherwise in some Golden Age of politics?


June 22nd, 2011

Doesn’t look like the vote is happening tonight. There’s still hope for tomorrow. I’m curious to see how these “religious exemptions” pan out, and how they will manage to not run counter to current NY law and the Constitution.


June 22nd, 2011

I still think it won’t be brought to vote because it’s the only way the Republicans can win – or at least to not lose. I hope I’m wrong and that Timothy is right.


June 22nd, 2011

“I still think it won’t be brought to vote because it’s the only way the Republicans can win – or at least to not lose.”

If they don’t bring this to a vote, the Republicans will have sealed there fate in 2012. They are already in great danger of losing the majority and this would clinch it. I think Skelos knows it too.

David C.

June 23rd, 2011

The NYS Senate has adjourned. It is just after midnight in New York. The Senate will be back in session tomorrow morning when the vigil will resume. Positive thoughts for equality everybody.

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