I’ve been resisting writing anything further about the effort to legalize same-sex marriage in New York until the matter was resolved, to avoid countless (pointless) updates on the subject. Now I can share my joy that the state of New York has legalized same-sex marriages, after a very small (but brave) minority of Republican state senators crossed party lines and voted for the measure.
The bill was introduced by the governor, and flew threw the state Assembly without a hitch, but had become stalled in the state Senate exactly one vote short of passing. The governor, celebrities, business moguls, and even NYC Mayor Bloomberg all lobbied hard, but the sticking point was concerns that passing this could negatively impact religious institutions in the state.
And of course, some religious groups fought to the end against legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. Catholic bishops issued a statement saying, “We worry that both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization.”
I still don’t understand how these people think me getting married to my same-sex partner will affect opposite-sex couples’ marriages. It’s just never made sense to me… What does my private relationship (with equal legal status in the state’s eyes) have to do with someone else’s? It’s a ridiculous argument, based 100% on a religious perspective that homosexuality is wrong — and the last I checked, your religious beliefs should not legally be my problem.
In the end, the bill passed the state Senate with 33 votes in favor and 29 votes against, representing the sad truth in politics that once someone else crosses the line and ensures it’s going to pass, other people will feel comfortable voting the way they really want (since they aren’t the “tie breaker” and thus aren’t in as much political jeopardy.)
Still, hats off to all of the people who defied conservative or religious urging to block the measure. Special kudos to Republican state senator Roy McDonald, who had this to say on the subject:
“You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn’t black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing. …You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing. I’m tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I’m trying to do the right thing, and that’s where I’m going with this.”
Nicely said, Senator!
The governor quickly signed the revised bill late last night, which will now go into effect on July 24th… Not long before I hope to be moving there. And to answer your question, no, I don’t have any special announcements coming. 🙂