New York Governor David Paterson is
expected to introduce a gay marriage bill on Thursday, reports the
New York Times.
Paterson indicated last week he would
move on the legislation.
Speaking on WHCU-AM Wednesday, the
Democratic governor said he would take another stab at passage.
“We'll put a bill out and let the
people decide one way or the other,” Paterson, a gay marriage
The governor is expected to deliver his
announcement at 10AM on Thursday at the governor's office in Midtown
Manhattan, the paper said, citing anonymous sources.
The governor's plan comes on the heels
of two gay marriage victories. Legislators in Vermont managed to
override Governor Jim Douglas' promised veto on a gay marriage bill,
making the inventor of civil unions for gay and lesbian couples the
first state to endorse gay marriage legislatively, instead of by
court order. And the seven-member Iowa Supreme Court unanimously
struck down that state's gay marriage ban on April 3. The two
victories effectively double the number of states offering gay
marriage in the U.S.
Immediately following Vermont's
groundbreaking override vote, gay activists groaned that movement in
New York was too slow.
“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.
The next day, Paterson began talking
about re-introducing a gay marriage bill.
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 Wednesday, “If you have the votes
later on to pass it, bring it back.”