Tom Duane Gives Up on Marriage Equality, for Now

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Yesterday, marriage equality's staunchest advocate in the State Senate released a disheartened letter to constituents regarding the bill. "I expect that the Senate this week will pass only time-sensitive, non-controversial legislation," he said, indicating that Paterson's measure to legalize gay marriage won't be voted upon before the body disbands (finally) for the summer. For the issue to be raised again, it will (for a third time) have to be passed by the State Assembly. From Duane:

As disappointing as it is to admit, it is clear that this week is not the right moment to address critical but controversial bills, such as those that strengthen tenant protections, safeguard reproductive health rights, grant marriage equality to all New Yorkers, protect transgender people from discrimination, streamline testing for HIV/AIDS, and give families a voice in incapacitated patients' health care.


However, we who have been championing this legislation will not be put off for long. During the weeks and months ahead the Senate will be called back to Albany to deal with a range of issues and I will fight to ensure that these vital bills which impact the lives of all New Yorkers come to the floor for a vote — and pass ... The June 8th coup may have delayed our progress, but it will not stop it.


Sounds like an awful lot of bills on that list of "critical but controversial bills" affect gay families — all of whom will, we're sure, understand that certain senators' quests for power were simply more important than having honest debate heard and decisions made regarding their basic rights. When they get told that 2010 is a reelection year for senators, and that the issue is "too controversial" to be taken up this fall, we bet they'll understand that, too.

Statement of New York State Senator Duane Re: the End of the Stalemate in the Senate [TomDuane.com]