The Daily Agenda for Friday, June 24

Jim Burroway

June 24th, 2011

New York Senate Vote on Marriage Equality (?): Albany, NY. Will the Republican caucus finally succeed in blocking a vote on marriage equality in the state Senate? That appears to be the growing realization late Thursday. Only two Republicans have joined twenty-nine Democrats in publicly declaring their support for marriage equality, one short of a majority in the sixty-two member chamber. But more significantly, marriage equality supporters are a distinct minority in the thirty-two member Republican caucus, which will collectively decide whether to allow a vote on the measure on the Senate floor. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who himself has said he will vote against marriage equality, insists that the discussion will take place soon and promised an all-nighter in order to wrap up the Senate’s business. That didn’t happen; the Senate adjourned shortly before 11:00 p.m. and will reconvene this morning at 10:00 a.m. One marriage equality supporter, Sen. James S. Alesi (R-Monroe Co.) told The New York Times:

“I don’t see how the conference doesn’t bring this to the floor at this point,” Mr. Alesi said. “I respect the collective will of my conference, but I believe on an issue as important as this to the Republican Party as well as to the L.G.B.T. community, I feel our conference has to bring this bill to the floor.” But Mr. Alesi added, “Albany is not a place to make predictions.”

Just after midnight Eastern Time, NOM sent out a lengthy message to its email list with a link to the entire Republican caucus asking them to put marriage equality up for a referendum. NOM also is targeting these state Senators:

  • Stephen Saland: (518) 455-2411
  • Andrew Lanza: (518) 455-3215
  • Mark Grisanti: (518) 455-3240
  • Greg Ball: (518) 455-3111
  • John Flanagan: (518) 455-2071
  • Joseph Addabbo: (518) 455-2322
  • Shirley Huntley: (518) 455-3531

The last two are listed as “yes” votes for marriage equality. Saland and Grisanti are listed as undecided. Lanza is a “lean no” and Ball and Flanagan are both “no.” Empire Pride also wants all New Yorkers to call their senator’s office right now. You can use their  simple click-to-call tool to make your voice heard.

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Anchorage, AK; Antwerp, Belgium; Augusta, GA; Barcelona, Spain; Baton Rouge, LA; Berlin, Germany; Casper, WY; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Columbia, SC (Black Pride); Dublin, Ireland; Durango, CO/Four Corners; Harlem, NY; Houston, TX; Knoxville, TN; Lexington, KY; Lisbon, Portugal; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Mexico City, DF; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Oklahoma City, OK; Omaha, NE; Oslo, Norway; Outer Banks, NC; Panama City, FL; Paris, France; Prince Albert, SA; San Francisco, CA; Santa Fe, NM; São Paulo, Brazil; St. Louis, MO; St. Petersburg, FL; St. Petersburg, Russia; Seattle, WA; Valencia, Spain and Wichita, KS.

Florida Awake!: Naples, FL. Florida is firmly in the hands of a tea-party governor and with the GOP holding 70% of the state Senate and two-thirds of the House, the state is very firmly in conservatism’s tightest grip. And yet for all of that, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver thinks “Florida must rise up and take back its state!” (Exclamation point in the original.) That’s why he will be joining discredited “historian” David Barton for an evening of sheer lunacy tonight at the First Baptist Church of Naples.

Sydney Police Block Pride Parade: 1978. This was supposed to be Sydney’s first Gay Pride Parade, known locally as Mardi Gras, and was planned as a night-time celebration after a morning march and commemoration of the Stonewall riots. (You can see film of the morning march taken with a super-8 camera here.) While homosexuality was still against the law in New South Wales, organizers had obtained all the necessary permits for the celebration beforehand. The evening celebration began simply, with a small crowd walking down Oxford Street on a chilly Australian winter day. The idea was to encourage people to come out from the bars and join the fun. But the crowd aroused suspicions of the police, which had gathered around the group.

By the time the small crowd, estimated at between five hundred and a thousand, reached the end of the street, the police confiscated the sound system, removed their identification badges and turned on the crowd. One participant recalled, “There was, you know, pretty serious bashing and kicking and all sort of things going on. It was a real riot.” Fifty-three marchers were arrested. One marcher recalled that while in police custody, he was beaten so badly he began to convulse on the floor.

“They took me along a long corridor in the police station through a U-shaped route into a room and then just beat the hell out of me. There were two police officers who did that – one in particular – bashing me with their fists in the head and saying ‘you’re not so smart now are you’.” Mr Murphy said he was beaten solidly until a blow to the solar plexus floored him. He was thrown into a solitary cell where he could hear protesters gathered outside chanting his name. “They tried to break my leg but fortunately the bones didn’t snap,” he said. “I was (literally) pissing my pants.”

Although most of the charges were dropped, the Sydney Morning Herald published the full names of everyone who was arrested, outing many to their family, friends and employers. Many lost their jobs. More than thirty years later, many of those surviving original marchers are still waiting for an official police apology.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. PLEASE, don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).


June 24th, 2011

Greg Ball is out of it. He released a stmt yesterday.

Turns out either he is an outright coward or knows that this will pass without him, so he’s ducking.

What did he say?

in sum: Now that the final text of the bill is out, I can say I worked for “religious protections”, but it doesn’t include all the ones that I wanted.

What does he want?

If you guessed that, of course, he and his office don’t/won’t say, you would be right.


June 24th, 2011

I’m now sure there won’t be a vote. As I stated before, that’s the only way the Republicans win. Perhaps a short-term win, but a win nonetheless.

I still hope I’m wrong.


June 24th, 2011

I find it deeply saddening to see the New York senators willing to show themselves as vulnerable to pressure from opponents of marriage equality. I hate to think about the celebration of the “triumph of family values” that will be shouted from the organizations that spent so much money and time stirring up hate and fear.

Edmund Burke said it perfectly: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”…way to go, “good men” (and women) of New York.


June 24th, 2011

It’s definitely looking like we were snowed by the Repubs. We’ve got to take back the Senate in 2012 and try again then.

Mark F.

June 24th, 2011

“We’ve got to take back the Senate in 2012 and try again then.”

Yeah, that will guarantee success, just like all of the other times the Democrats had control of things!


June 24th, 2011

@Mark F,

The difference now is several Dems are out of office that voted against marriage equality last time, and the ones who are still left have switched, (except for Diaz) plus there are probably several Republicans who would vote for it, too. It’s pretty clear that with Bloomberg behind it, it will pass, which is why the Repubs aren’t going to allow a vote.

Mark F.

June 24th, 2011

Well Ryan, I hope you are right. I think patience is a virtue now.

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