New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has
pledged his support for the legalization of gay marriage in the
state, the New York Times reported.
At a closed door meeting on Wednesday,
Cuomo told gay marriage backers that he was prepared to devote his
“full attention” to the cause.
In attendance at the meeting were New
York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, who is openly gay;
Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) Brian Ellner; Empire State Pride Agenda
Executive Director Ross D. Levi; and Equality Matters President
“This meeting was intended to send a
statement directly from the governor that this state is going to lead
on the issue – and he is going to lead it,” Socarides told the
According to the Times, the
governor would likely move on the legislation after dealing with the
state budget, a process which could drag on beyond the April 1
A 2009 push to legalize gay marriage in
the Empire State ended in an embarrassing defeat after backers
misjudged support for the bill in the Senate, then in Democratic
control. Republicans have since take over the chamber.
The defeat, however, gave rise to new
groups and campaigns to support gay marriage.
Back New York, a campaign to oust senators who opposed the bill,
been credited for some ballot box defeats. And an HRC-backed
campaign urging New Yorkers to support gay marriage has attracted
nationwide attention for its use of celebrity endorsements,
Barbara Bush, daughter of former President George W. Bush and a
“To me this is more than just a piece
of legislation,” Cuomo said in a statement after the hourlong
meeting. “This is about the lives of people who I have known for
many years, who currently are without the rights to which they are