NY is 1 vote away from marriage equality

Posted on 15 Jun 2011 at 3:57pm
Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr.

A second Republican New York Senator said he’ll vote for marriage equality, bringing the total number of state senators supporting the measure to 31, one short of the 32 needed for the measure to pass.

Only one Democrat refuses to vote for the measure: Ruben Diaz Sr., an anti-gay activist who’s also the Senate’s only pro-life Democrat. Diaz worked to stop expansion of New York’s Harvey Milk School for gay teens and tried to keep the Gay Games from taking place in New York.

In May, Diaz led an anti-equality demonstration while his lesbian granddaughter held a pro-equality rally. Diaz represents a district in the Bronx.

The most vocal opposition to marriage equality in New York is coming from Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York City. He has compared same-sex marriage to social control in communist China or North Korea. However, he apparently doesn’t see the parallels between imposing his own religious views and fascism.

Three recent polls have been consistent in placing support of marriage equality in New York State at 58 percent. One of the polls was conducted by Siena College, a Catholic school just north of Albany.

Although the Catholic hierarchy opposes same-sex marriage, there’s no evidence lay Catholics in New York oppose equality. According to the Siena poll, Catholics poll 1 percent ahead of the state’s liberal Jewish population in support of marriage equality. Among the biggest proponents of the equality law is the state’s new governor, Andrew Cuomo, who is Catholic.

A Senate vote on the marriage equality measure is possible Friday.

UPDATE: The New York Assembly, which has already passed marriage equality three times, is debating the bill tonight. Watch live by going here.

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