WASHINGTON, DC – New York Gov. David Paterson has introduced marriage equality legislation that would recognize marriage for same-sex couples under state law. In 2007, pro-marriage equality legislation passed the state assembly but was blocked in the state senate.
âWe very much appreciate Gov. Paterson introducing a marriage equality program bill into the legislature and continuing the momentum that has been growing on this important issue over the past several weeks. For a long time the governor has been a vocal advocate for passing legislation that would provide same-sex couples and our families the 1,324 rights and responsibilities that come with a New York State marriage license,â said Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle in a statement released April 16.
Capelle added, âWhen the marriage bill passed in the State Assembly in 2007, Gov. Paterson played an instrumental role in securing the needed votes in the moments leading up to the floor debate. The bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 85-61 and every single Assemblymember who voted for marriage on that nightâDemocrat and Republicanâwon their reelection last November. The Assembly and the Governor are on record in support of this bill, and a majority of New Yorkers support this bill. Now itâs time for the State Senate to get in line with the rest of New York,â Capelle said.
In 2006 the New York Court of Appeals ruled against marriage equality, expressly stating that it should be resolved by the legislature.
The New York State Assembly voted in June of 2007, 85-61, in favor of a marriage equality bill. That bill stalled in the Senate, which at the time was controlled by opponents of equality. In last November’s election, control of the Senate changed hands and Senator Malcolm Smith, a supporter of marriage equality, was chosen as Majority Leader and Senate President Pro Tem.
In the 2008 election season the LGBT community worked to help elect three fair-minded senate candidates in the New York state Senate, including Brian Foley (SD-03); Joe Addabbo (SD-15); Jim Gennaro (SD-11), which changed control of the state senate.
You can follow this developing story online at http://www.prideagenda.org