Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New York, New York?

It's really up to them after all.

New York's Legislature is meeting in extraordinary session to confront a $3.2 billion deficit and possibly hold a landmark vote to provide final legislative approval of same-sex marriage.

However, there were no agreements Monday that were certain to be part of Tuesday's session. [...]

The Senate may also take up a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Even if the issue comes to a vote, it remains unclear whether 32 senators would give it the support needed.

Adam Bink explains further at Open Left:

Here's the deal. Gov. Paterson has called another special session and asked that marriage equality be put on the agenda. The session starts today. The Assembly has previously passed such legislation and Gov. Paterson will sign the bill. New York does not allow for ballot referenda to enact or overturn laws, so there is very little chance this will be repealed like in Maine and California.

The problem is, the State Senators themselves decide what is on the agenda, not Paterson, and what I'm hearing from a number of sources is that pressure needs to be put on the conference leader, Sen. John Sampson, from State Senators. There are a lot of "Yes" vote Democrats who do not necessarily want to see a vote. Tom Duane, the openly gay Senate sponsor, has said for months that he has the votes, and the problem is getting the leadership to take it up. The reason this needs to happen is if it gets put off until 2010, an election year for State Senators, it is even more likely to not come up for a vote. And in 2011, we might have an anti-equality Republican governor on our hands. So this needs to happen now.

So, if you live in New York State and wouldn't mind helping me and lots of other couples get married, I would sure appreciate it. Empire State Pride Agenda has a neat tool that connects you with your State Senator (you literally don't even have to dial). Fill it out here. Ask that he or she (a) ask Sen. Sampson for a vote on marriage equality (b) to vote in favor.

So if you know folks in The Empire State (and I know you do, since Las Vegas is the 7th NYC borough; everything in Florida south of the Palm Beach County line is the 6th), please ask them to help Empire State Pride Agenda in whipping the 32 State Senate votes necessary to win civil marriagge equality! They won't even have to make the call themselves, as ESPA has everything covered.

I'm sure you're still as bummed out as I am over Maine "trick rolling" us, but here's our chance to get some sweet revenge. The anti-equality wingnuts have tried hard all year to stall and stall and stall away the marriage bill in New York, even though it's very likely we may actually have the votes for passage. But now that Governor Paterson is putting his foot down and demanding a Senate vote, it's now or never to get it done and score the biggest victory yet for LGBT equality.

So please tell your New Yorker friends & family to call their Senators and get the job done! It's up to you, New York, New York!

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