New York gubernatorial candidate Andrew
Cuomo has pledged to make gay marriage a “priority,” if elected
in the fall, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“It's a priority,” Cuomo told a
The 52-year-old Democrat went on to say
he believed the Legislature could approve a gay marriage bill in
Passage of a gay marriage bill was a
top priority for outgoing Governor David Paterson, a Democrat. But
despite his pleas for passage, senators voted down the bill in a 38
to 24 vote last December. Eight Senate Democrats crossed the aisle
to join all Republicans in voting against the measure after the
Democrat-controlled Assembly voted in favor. Shortly afterward, New
Jersey lawmakers rejected a similar bill.
Cuomo's stand on gay marriage has
evolved since his 2002 campaign for governor, when he supported
recognizing gay couples with civil unions. He endorsed full marriage
equality in 2006.
Gay activists say they're encouraged by
“To me, that's extremely
encouraging,” Ethan Geto told the paper. “For the guy to say
it's a priority and then for him to say he may very well be able to
get it done in his first year, it's terrific.”
Paterson has ordered state agencies to
recognize legal gay marriages performed elsewhere. But obstacles
the Senate's recent rejection of a bill that would allow married gay
couples to file joint state tax returns. Neighboring
Connecticut, Vermont and Canada offer the institution.