New York State Senator James Alesi has
said his 2009 vote against gay marriage went against “what was in
Alesi is among the four GOP senators
who crossed the aisle in June to join all but one Democrat in making
New York the sixth state to legalize gay marriage.
Alesi made his remarks during an
invitation-only panel on Tuesday sponsored by The New York Times.
Also attending the event were Governor
Andrew Cuomo, who
said marriage equality was “just a matter of time,” and New
York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is openly lesbian and
is considered an early frontrunner for mayor.
The GOP lawmaker said his decision
against voting for the bill two years ago was political calculation.
“So it's kind of shameful to admit,
but in the world we live in, politics decides a lot of how you act.
And knowing that the bill wasn't going to pass because the other side
didn't have enough votes meant that you don't put yourself out there
politically for a bill that is going to fail, when your conservatives
and your right-wings will work against you in the next election,”
added that voting against the bill was “very, very hard for
“I went out, and as I sat there I
knew I was voting against what I believed. I knew I was voting
against what was in my heart. I knew I was voting against what I
thought was right not just for me, not only for New York, but for