True Colors

Jim Burroway

June 26th, 2011

The Empire State building was already set to light up in rainbow colors last night in honor of the city’s Pride celebration this weekend, but given that it was the same night on which marriage equality became the law of the state, the new color scheme was given greater significance. And why not light up the night? New York Freedom to Marry notes that the New York victory represents several historic firsts:

  • For the first time, a Republican-led chamber, the New York State Senate, joined the Democrat-led Assembly in passing marriage legislation;
  • The marriage bill was strongly championed by a governor who ran for office on his pledge to pass a bill and then campaigned steadily for it, making it one of his top priorities and committing political capital to its passage;
  • A large number of America’s most prominent businesses including Xerox Corporation, Alcoa, and McGraw-Hill, and the heads of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup, along with New York’s most important labor unions, urged passage of the bill;
  • And numerous professional athletes, including NBA star Steve Nash, New York Rangers star Sean Avery, and New York Giants great Michael Strahan, joined the chairman of the New York Giants and owner of the New Jersey Nets in speaking out for the bill.

While Republican support was neither broad nor deep — only four GOP state Senators voted for the marriage equality bill — it was nevertheless critical and historic. The Republican caucus easily could have blocked the measure from coming to the floor but didn’t. Sen. Dean Skelos, the majority leader of the Republican-controlled chamber who personally voted against the bill, could have refused to allow the bill to come forward, but didn’t. A lot of those GOP Senators who voted against the bill could have prevented its passage in several critical stages along the way, but chose to allow it to pass without their fingerprints on it.

Say what you will about their votes against equality — I’m sure their grandchildren in future decades won’t look at those votes with pride — but I think it bears remembering that marriage equality ended up being the work of the entire chamber, and not just those who voted yes. It’s true that the those who voted yes are the ones who today and in the future deserve to be wrapped in glory. They are the ones who actually made it happen. And those who worked feverishly to prevent marriage equality (I’m looking at you, Diaz) will be scorned by future generations the way we today regard the Dixiecrats of 1948. But the fact remains that sometimes just standing aside so that the rising tide of justice can sweep through is just as important as voting yes. Openly gay Sen. Thomas K. Duane said that everyone in the New York Senate was a hero last night regardless of their vote. I suspect that this is what he was talking about.

Stefano A

June 26th, 2011

Oh, puhaaaleeeze. Skelos and the other “No” republicans didn’t stand aside because they were being noble, they stood aside because they realized that if they didn’t it would mean the death of the Republican political party in New York.


June 26th, 2011

Yes, yes, yes. I keep feeling like if we’ve got Republican elected officials, professional athletes, and CEOs of large corporations behind us, then the “traditional family” groups are inching ever closer to history’s dustbin where they belong. There’s still lots to do, like passing GENDA, but things feel more like they’re going in the right direction this weekend.

J. Peron

June 26th, 2011

You say: “I’m sure their grandchildren in future decades won’t look at those votes with pride.” Coincidentally that is the topic of my current column at Huffington Post.


June 27th, 2011

In one article, it mentioned that Skelos was smiling when the vote tally was announced and the crowd in the gallery was celebrating.

I wrote him a thank-you note for making sure teh vote happened (along with ones to the four who voted yes) and acknowledged that he was walking a fine line. I did (kindly) chide him for voting no, but I think we do have to give credit to them. There were MANY opportunities for them to deny us the vote.

Stefano, you are very wrong about the threat to the party. It’s not at all clear that a block would have cost them the Chamber and it CERTAINLY would not have meant the “death of the Republican political party in New York.” In fact, it is very possible that the vote will cost them control of the Senate, but I think they will hold on.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.