Efforts Intensify On NY Marriage Equality, Mostly Behind The Scenes
June 08, 2011 11:33 am ET by Richard Socarides
With only 12 days remaining before the scheduled adjournment of the New York State Legislature, efforts have intensified to get a deal as early as next week for a marriage equality bill.
Even though gay marriage advocates appear six votes short of a majority in the New York State Senate (32 votes are needed) there is increasing optimism that a unique combination of factors may come together and produce a victory.
New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is personally quarterbacking the effort, told Gay City News, “New York’s legacy of social progress is undeniable. We have led the way, and it is time to make marriage equality a reality in New York State. The time to pass marriage equality is now and we are all working together to do just that.”
Events and conversations happening behind the scenes, however, are where the action is. Republican state senators are being lobbied hard to vote “yes,” including by financial contributors and business leaders. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are playing important roles. Gay rights groups have their act together this time and are mounting a coordinated effort both on TV and in the field. These efforts seem much stronger than those of the anti-gay forces. Look for all these efforts to intensify over the next week.