Former Senate Majority Leader Joseph
Bruno has flipped his stance on gay marriage.
Bruno told the AP that he supports the
legalization of gay marriage in New York, a flip for the
Albany's most powerful Republican
lawmaker retired last year after serving 13 years as majority leader,
but his opinion is likely to influence the debate on a gay marriage
bill waiting for the Senate's approval to become law.
“As a Republican, I believe in
personal freedom,” Bruno said in a statement. “I opposed
same-sex marriage largely because the overwhelming majority of my
caucus opposed it. As a relatively conservative Roman Catholic, I
instinctively view marriage as the foundation of the family.”
“However, that view really does
conflict with the rights that are afforded all of us,” he added.
“This is America and we have inalienable rights … life is short
and we should all be afforded the same opportunities and rights to
Bruno said longtime friend Governor
David Paterson's strong support for gay marriage helped him recognize
marriage as a civil right.
But with six official days left in the
legislative session, the Senate engulfed in a power struggle, and no
public Republican support on the issue, gay marriage in the Empire
State is likely on hold till next year.