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by Rex Wockner
National News Briefs
Fifty-three percent of New York state residents support legalization of same-sex marriage and 39 percent oppose it, according to a Siena Research poll.
Gov. David Paterson introduced a bill in the Legislature April 16 to legalize same-sex marriage.
The strongest support comes from women, Democrats, independent voters and young people. More opposed are older people, men, Republicans, Protestants, Latinos and blacks.
The poll quizzed 682 voters and had an error margin of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.
Paterson’s bill should pass the Assembly easily, as an identical one did in 2007, but its prospects in the Senate, where its twin died in 2007, remain uncertain.
“We have a crisis of leadership today,” Paterson said in introducing the measure. “We’re going to fill that vacuum today. (G)ay and lesbian New Yorkers … have been the victims of what is a legal system that has systematically discriminated against them.”
“For too long, the gay and lesbian community have been told that their rights and freedoms have to wait,” he said. “The time has come to act.”
Same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa and (starting Sept. 1) Vermont. New York state already recognizes the marriages of same-sex couples who marry elsewhere.
Gay couples also can marry in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.