New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in Albany on Thursday discussing marriage equality with Republican senators, according to the Albany Times Union.
Bloomberg told the Albany newspaper that he was willing to back his support for marriage equality with political contributions to Republicans who supported the measure. He said he believes that marriage equality is important to keep New York City competitive. (We wonder if the next Dallas mayor would ever do anything like this.)
On Wednesday night the Assembly passed the marriage equality bill, the fourth time they have done so. But the Senate remains one vote short. Passage in the New York Senate takes 32 votes. So far 29 Democrats and two Republicans said they would vote for the bill. The one remaining Democrat will vote against the bill. Another three or four Republicans have indicated that they are open to supporting equality.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said more discussion is needed on the issue, which equality opponents see as positive. Only one more day is scheduled for the state Senate before adjournment for the year on Monday, June 20, although they may go to extended or special session.
The hate group National Organization for Marriage has threatened to run primary challengers against any Republican who votes for equality. Polls in New York have been consistent showing 58 percent of New Yorkers favor equality.
If the bill passes in New York, the number of people living in states that allow marriage equality will more than double.
Sen. Diane Savino, a Democrat from Staten Island whose impassioned speech in favor of equality went viral on Youtube in the last session, posted a message on her office door.
“Bigots and homophobes please put your literature here,” it said, with an arrow pointing to a garbage bin on the floor.
Among the most ironic anti-equality lobbyists in Albany is Bill Banuchi. Banuchi is a marriage counselor. Is he trying to tell us something?