Friday, April 17, 2009
Gay Marriage in New York, A Definite Maybe.
Our broadly unpopular Governor David Patterson takes a huge political gamble today by introducing gay marriage legislation, and coming out strong for it.
Bronx Senator (and Evangelical pastor) Ruben Diaz is dead set against it and vows to force the governor out of office. The new Roman Catholic Archbishop Dolan will certainly campaign against it, and will bring back the old political role of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City politics, as a soapbox and a powerful backroom influence through the police and firefighter's unions.
Supposedly, there are a lot of gay activists who are unhappy about the timing of all this. They are trying to follow the Vermont model by carefully building support around the state, and waiting until the votes are there before introducing it into the legislature. The Governor put them all on the spot today, and they are all rallying to support his legislation.
The professional prognosticators are prediciting that the legislation will pass in the Assembly, as it did in 2007. It will fail in the Senate, but by a narrow margin. There is the possibility that some libertarian Republicans from upstate may support the legislation, which gives it an outside chance of passage. However, it's a safe bet that it probably won't happen this year.
But, it will happen. The narrow margin in the State Senate reflects a major shifting of public opinion that's happening here and around the country, and a surprisingly rapid shift. There will be gay marriage in New York, and in the near future.
Yes, this legislation is driven by the Governor's political calculations. But, whenever you feel used by politicians, then use them right back. The basic rule for politicians is "use them or lose them."
Posted by Counterlight at Friday, April 17, 2009