Posts Tagged As: Dean Skelos
June 16th, 2011
Yesterday the New York Assembly voted 80 to 63 to give same-sex couples the same access to state rights, responsibilities, and obligations of marriage as it allows its citizens in opposite sex relationships (15 Democrats voted “no” and 3 Republicans voted “yes”).
Currently there are 31 of the state’s 62 senators who have pledged their support for the marriage equality bill. Only one Democrat (Pentecostal minister Ruben Diaz) is opposed, two Republicans have indicated support and at least four more are “undecided”.
And the media is all ablaze with the entirely wrong question.
They are breathlessly wondering whether a necessary third Republican Senator can be found to vote for marriage equality. But those who seem most situated to know seem to agree that more than one of the “undecided” will vote favorably on the bill. That isn’t the question, and none of the undecided will make the decision as to whether marriage equality will come to New York.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos will be the person who decides if marriage equality will be achieved.
In the New York Senate, the Majority Leader holds tremendous power. He can singly block a piece of legislation by refusing to schedule a vote. The votes may be there, but they won’t be counted unless he says so.
Skelos has said that he will defer to the will of the Republican caucus. If his Senators want a vote, he’ll have one, if they don’t he won’t. And for the past two days they have been caucusing, only to announce that they have no decision. They will meet again tomorrow.
But this too is a bit less democratic than it might seem. A party leader can, in many circumstances, inform his caucus that they need to rally around and support his decision.
Much of the decision as to whether the New York State Senate will vote on, and pass, the marriage equality bill will be based on whether Skelos determines that allowing the bill will be less politically damaging than blocking the bill.
If he allows a vote, some of the Party’s “base” will blame him and other senators for not serving the conservative cause. But in a state where marriage is popular, and rapidly becoming more so, blocking the vote could ring a sour note with the voters and leave them with the image of an obstructionist party. And a good many people who are not all that vested one way or the other are sympathetic to the complaint, “They wouldn’t even let me vote!”
And to complicate matters more, the largest donors to Republicans in the State of New York are decidedly on the side of equality. Mayor Bloomberg, the single largest contributor to Republicans in the state, has been applying pressure, and other contributors have been showing where their alliances fall through financial support for the legal team seeking to overturn Proposition 8.
AT some point tomorrow Dean Skelos will announce the decision that he believes will best continue the Republican control of the Senate, and his leadership there.
It is, of course, only a guess but I think that the winds are blowing in our favor. Skelos can step out of a caucus tomorrow and announce that a majority felt the need to vote on the matter. No one will know who to blame, and each can say “but I voted no.” The sophisticated contributor will know that this decision allowed marriage equality to come to pass, and the less so can be comforted by knowing that their own Senator stood for the good ol’ values they sent him there to support.
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.
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.