Adoption of same-sex marriage in Vermont stirs debate in New York
The recent adoption of same-sex marriage in Vermont is stirring up debate of New York's status on the issue.
And Governor Paterson, who has long been a staunch supporter for rights of the gay/lesbian community, is under fire for calling for a public debate on the issue of same-sex marriage that some say could be gambling with civil rights.
Right now, Senate Democrats say the governor is wrong. A spokesman for Majority Leader Malcolm Smith saying "something of this importance demands more than a symbolic gesture or empty rhetoric. It requires the type of real action we are working towards to secure the votes necessary to achieve the goal of marriage equality."
Senate Vice President David Valesky says Senate Democrats have not conferenced same sex marriage. They're too distracted by the current economic crisis he says.
"I don't think that, that's an issue that should be at the forefront of the Senate agenda and I would be very surprised if it was anytime soon,” said Valesky.
Valesky would not say himself whether he would support gay marriage legislation. New York City Senator Tom Duane, sponsor of the same sex marriage bill, says he also does not agree with the governor saying he's not willing to gamble with anyone's civil rights.
Paterson says the controversial vote could be a step toward the transparency everyone's been demanding, a move toward public debate on bills that have long been hashed out behind closed doors. But even those known to support same sex marriage have at times proven unwilling to say so.
Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith does not believe that gay marriage is a priority. "What's a priority for us is building this economy," [he said].
Capital News 9 video coverage, "Governor, Senate face off on gay marriage", here.
New York State currently recognizes Foreign Same-sex Marriages in New York.
Special related news coverage on NowPublic, here.
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North Tonawanda, New York, United States