New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has
praised Stephen Saland for backing a gay marriage bill.
a cover story for gay glossy The Advocate, Cuomo talks
about the effort to gain Republican support for the measure.
Gay marriage advocates in the state
never really stopped campaigning after a 2009 loss in the
Democrat-led Senate. But after lobbying against gay marriage foes
throughout 2010, it seemed the movement had slowed considerably, and
talk of a second attempt this year sounded ill-advised.
The Senate, now in the hands of
Republicans, had become an even taller hurdler to overcome and four
Democrats remained opposed to passage in the chamber.
It seemed impossible to believe that
Cuomo could wield sufficient influence to alter the politics, and
that Republicans would risk their necks for what ultimately would be
viewed as a Cuomo victory – a Democratic victory.
But he did. And now he credits
Republican Senator Saland for breaking a key stalemate.
Saland offered his support as the
measure teetered one vote shy of victory.
“Nobody wanted to be 32, because
nobody wanted to be the person who, for the Republicans, you could
say, 'Not only did you vote for it, but without your vote it wouldn't
have passed,'” Cuomo said.
He called Saland's support “a real
act of courage.”
“There are many times when you have
legislators who stand up and take gutsy positions that they're
penalized for. That's why it's gutsy,” he added.