Gay New Yorkers switch parties to reward Republican senator

Mark Grisanti

Mark Grisanti was one of four Republican senators in New York’s upper house who voted for marriage equality. Now, 250 New Yorkers in his district that runs from Niagara Falls to Buffalo have switched parties — to the Conservative Party — to support him.

In New York, a candidate can run on two party lines. Longtime New York Sen. Jacob Javitz, a Republican, maintained his position only because he was also the perennial Liberal Party candidate. Grisanti won his seat with the support of New York’s Conservative Party.

The 250 people who switched parties will be eligible to vote in the primary that will nominate a candidate. The party, itself, opposes same-sex marriage.

However, Grisanti said at the time of the vote earlier this summer, “I cannot legally come up with an argument against same-sex marriage.”

The district has five times as many Democrats as Republicans, according to the Buffalo News.

You have to hand it to the hate group National Organization for Marriage for being so narrow-minded that they think that everyone thinks the way they do. NOM is placing billboards in Grisanti’s district to remind people how their senator voted. However, the newspaper called that a gift to Grisanti in a district that overwhelmingly supports his vote.

Buffalo’s NBC affiliate talked to the local Conservative Party chair who was not pleased with a group joining “to disrupt the party.”

The organizer of the switch-parties move said that they were doing this to protect someone who helped them. They will not be able to switch back again until 2013. In the mean time, they will be eligible to vote in Conservative Party primaries.

And Grisanti may switch parties and become a Democrat before next year’s election. But a Conservative Party line would help him get votes from Republicans and Conservatives who prefer not to vote for a Democrat.

—  David Taffet