With only a fortnight until the end of Albany’s legislative session, Governor Paterson is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to wrangle up the votes to pass his gay-marriage bill. Today the Daily News reports that Paterson is trying to enlist former GOP Senate majority leader Joe Bruno to lobby his fellow Republicans which is fairly surprising, considering Bruno’s history on the issue. As the News recalls, Bruno once referred to homosexuality as an “abnormal lifestyle” and denied Senate staffers domestic health-insurance benefits, though by 2002 he had evolved enough on the issue to push the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act through the Senate. Despite that apparent progress, in 2007 Bruno refused to bring a gay-marriage bill for a vote in the Senate, and just last year he threatened to pass a Defense of Marriage Act to negate Paterson’s directive to state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state.
Of course, what really ticked Bruno off about Paterson’s directive is that it bypassed the legislature, a supposedly outrageous affront to the majority leader’s power and authority. Now Paterson may truly need Bruno’s help in securing a historic gay-rights achievement, and Bruno is apparently “considering” the offer. Who knows where Bruno currently falls on the gay-marriage support-spectrum, but he no doubt appreciates (and perhaps relishes) how the tables have turned.