Saturday, December 6, 2008

Same-Sex Marriage: Bargained Away in New York Senate Deal?

Same-Sex Marriage: Bargained Away in New York Senate Deal?  | News |
New York State senate Democrats may have secured control of their chamber by bargaining away marriage equality on Thursday.

Since Election Day, when Democrats won a two-seat majority in the chamber after decades of Republican rule, three conservative members of the caucus had threatened to defect to the GOP unless they received more power. But a handshake deal in New York City apparently gave the holdouts what they wanted, The New York Times reports.

For one, Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. of the Bronx, the concessions may have included postponing a vote on marriage equality until 2010 at the earliest, according to the paper.

New York assembly member Daniel J. O'Donnell, who is gay and carried a same-sex marriage bill that passed his chamber in 2007, told the Times that he expects momentum to continue for marriage equality regardless of what transpired.

"All civil rights movements have moments where they move forward, and moments of perceived setbacks," O’Donnell, who represents Manhattan, told the paper. "If in fact our civil rights were bargained away, that's deplorable. But in the end, I think justice and fairness will prevail."

Still, Freedom to Marry's executive director Evan Wolfson says its important to remain positive.

“Don’t buy into the idea that marriage is being put on the backburner," he told "Politicians always float trial balloons. There are those who want us to surrender and walk away, and expect less. We’ve only just begun to fight, and we can’t give up before we’ve started.”...

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