New York Governor David Paterson says
he will re-introduce a gay marriage bill.
Speaking on WHCU-AM Wednesday, the
Democratic governor said he would make another effort at passage.
“We'll put a bill out and let the
people decide one way or the other,” Paterson, a gay marriage
But state Senate Majority Leader
Malcolm A. Smith, a Democrat and gay marriage supporter, admitted
during a Human Rights Campaign fundraiser in February that he does
not have the votes to pass gay marriage in the Empire State.
Assembly members approved a gay
marriage bill in 2007 but the effort fizzled in the Senate.
Gay marriage became a point of
contention in the selection of Smith to lead the Senate. Several
senators groused that he was too pro-gay marriage.
“Why can't a bill just be on the
floor and lose?” Paterson said, “If you have the votes later on
to pass it, bring it back.”
Paterson's remarks might have been
motivated by gay marriage wins in Vermont and Iowa. As a result, gay
activists in New York complained that movement in New York was too
“We are thrilled that Vermont –
another one of New York's neighbors – has passed a marriage
equality bill through the state legislature,” Alan Van Capelle,
executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda, a group that lobbies
for gay marriage, said on Tuesday. “But I'm embarrassed for New
“We hope that our state Senate in New
York will now look at three of the states that surround New York –
Massachusetts, Connecticut and now Vermont – and realize that we
are falling behind,” he added.
A Quinnipiac University poll out this
week found that a large majority of New Yorkers favor recognition of
gay unions. Forty-one percent of people asked said they believe gay
couples should be allowed to marry, while 33 percent prefer civil
unions for gay and lesbian couples.