equal rites

Marriage-Equality Bill Fails in State Senate 24–38

After moving speeches from many supporters on the floor of the New York State Senate, the body voted 24–38 to defeat the marriage-equality bill passed three times by the State Assembly. Notable “No” votes included occasional turncoat Democrats Hiram Monserrate and Carl Kruger. Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, once counted among those who would vote against the bill, gave one of the most compelling orations — speaking about the conflicting influences of her elder brother who was gay and fled the country to Europe, and her sister, who is a prominent minister here in America. Her constituents, she said, did not elect her “to be the moral arbiter of their decisions.” “Everyone has the right to choose” the way they want to live, she said, choking up. Senator Tom Duane spoke twice, delivering a long, rambling set of closing remarks with jokes about his partner, tears, and a sense of hopefulness — even if the vote did not go his way.

Senator Eric Adams’ speech:

Senator Diane Savino’s speech:

Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson’s speech:

Marriage-Equality Bill Fails in State Senate 24–38