New York Senator Mark Grisanti, one of
four Republicans who voted for a gay marriage bill on Friday, says
his previous opposition to gay marriage was guided by politics.
explaining his reversal to reporters on Monday, the first-term
senator admitted that his previous objections were more likely political calculus.
In 2008, while running for the New York
Senate as a Democrat, Grisanti wrote in a letter to local ministers
that he was “inalterably opposed to gay marriage,” and labeled
the institution part of a “radical agenda.”
Before he cast his vote that helped New
York become the sixth – and most populous – state to legalize gay
marriage, Grisanti, an attorney, told fellow lawmakers that he
couldn't find a legal reason to oppose marriage equality.
Explaining his previous opposition, he
said: “I had not done the research. Basically, I opposed it as my
Catholic upbringing was opposed to it. But, I'm not elected as a
Catholic Senator. I'm representing a lot of various groups not only
in my district, but across the State of New York.”
Confronted with the letter, Grisanti
told reporters: “I would say three years ago, it was probably,
with that letter and how it was, was probably more political than
actually conscience. And, as I said, in the last campaign, I didn't
send anything out with regards to same-sex marriage, not one piece of
Grisanti also minimized the notion that
he misled voters.
“If people said that they voted for
me on this issue alone, that I was a 'no,' then absolutely. Then I
misled them. Do I think there are a lot of people that voted on just
that one issue? I don't know. I don't know what the numbers are. I
do know that people also voted for me becase there was nothing being
done here in Western New York.”
And he denied that he was considering
switching political allegiances again.