NY Governor: Gay Marriage Opponents Suffer From "Guilt"
New York Governor David Paterson apparently received a warm welcome yesterday from some 2,000 activists who turned out at the Albany state capital for LGBT Equality and Justice Day to lobby both Democratic and GOP senators on gay marriage, GENDA, and the Dignity for All Students Act.
Governor Paterson, who recently re-introduced a program bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New York State, "...went into a long riff on how "sometimes it takes a disciplined effort and some losses to get a victory."
He said later he was merely trying to rally supporters, not end a signal that the bill won't pass this year, despite the fact that the 32 votes Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith has said he needs before moving the measure to the floor have yet to materialize.
Paterson suggested those who oppose the bill are doing so out of "guilt."
"You see, the fact is that for years these same individuals - many of them, not all of them, but many of them - who pronounced religious doctrine did not exercise it when young gay and lesbian students were being chastised for expressing their point of view," Paterson said.
"Where were these leaders of faith when college students of gay and lesbian orientation were beaten and often brutalized for expressing their feelings for each other?"
In a brief post-speech Q& A with reporters, Paterson noted many of the same people now complaining they are being discriminated against for citing religious reasons for their opposition to same-sex marriage did not speak out against discrimination of gays and lesbians when he and others were pushing a hate crimes bill in the Senate.
"They now make the point, and I think it’s a valid point, that the passage of a marriage equality law shouldn’t influence people's personal decisions," Paterson said. "I think they’re absolutely right about that."
"All I’m saying is: Why didn’t they speak about that at the time when it was the other way around? See what really makes a democracy work is when you speak for others rights even when you disagree with them."
"I’m saying most of the religious leaders that I hear speaking out now did not do it at the time. Had they done so I think they would have better moral standing to speak at this moment on this legislation even though I disagree with them."
Related NowPublic stories by this Author: