Speed reading the coverage of the state Senate same-sex marriage vote

ruth hassell-thompson

Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson speaking before yesterday's vote.

Updated Thursday at 5:30 pm

We've sifted through the coverage of yesterday state Senate vote on the same-sex marriage bill. Here are a bunch of the quick-scan highlights, including details of a protest planned for tonight...

+ The vote was 38-24 against. Every Republican voted against bill, as did eight Democrats (four of them from Queens). [NYO]

+ Neil Breslin voted "yes." Roy McDonald voted "no."

+ Here's the rundown of how each senator voted (and a spreadsheet). [CapCon]

+ Supporters of the bill had expected the vote to be a lot closer. But no one seemed to know how the vote was going to be split, which is unusual for the New York legislature.[NYT]

+ David Paterson says he thinks the vote would have been closer if it had been secret ballot. [Daily Politics]

+ The floor debate before the vote featured some very personal speeches by senators. [NYT]

+ Ruth Hassell-Thompson, a Democrat from Westchester who had not publicly stated how she would vote, spoke movingly of her gay brother:

She voted "yes."

+ Diane Savino, a Democrat from Staten Island, questioned what heterosexual people had done to the sanctity of marriage:

She voted "yes."

+ Ruben Diaz Sr, a Democrat from the Bronx and maybe the most outspoken opponent of the bill:

"I implore you, ladies and gentlemen, members of this body. Members of the Republican Party: Remember your roots. Remember your values--remember you stand for traditional values, family values, moral values ... "Join me, a Democrat, join me, a Hispanic, join me a Puerto Rican, join me, a black, join me, a resident of the city of New York in saying no."

He voted "no." [NYO]

+ James Alesi, a Republican from Rochester, appeared to agonize over his vote. He voted "no." He blamed the political climate created by the economy. [New York Now] [NYDN]

+ Tom Duane, a Democrat from Manhattan and the sponsor of the bill (he's also gay), after the vote: "I'm angry. I'm disappointed. I am let down. I'm betrayed. But I am not going away." [Daily Politics]

+ The president of the New York Bar Association, in a released statement:

"Today's defeat of the same sex marriage bill in the New York State Senate is deeply disappointing. We have lost an important opportunity to finally bring true equality under the law to all New Yorkers."

+ The executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, in a statement:

"Today's Senate vote is painfully disappointing given our state's proud history of promoting fairness and justice for gay and lesbian people and other minority groups. But this is only a temporary setback in our campaign to protect all New York families. The majority of New Yorkers support fair marriage laws that protect lesbian and gay families, and the day will come when we achieve that goal."

+ The exec director of the New York State Catholic Conference, in a statement:

"On behalf of the Bishops of New York State, we are extremely pleased and grateful that the New York State Senate in a bipartisan vote rejected the concept that marriage can be anything other than the union of one man and one woman."
"While the Catholic Church rejects unjust discrimination against homosexual men and women, there is no question that marriage by its nature is the union of one man and one woman."

+ The president of the Catholic League, in statement:

Kudos to New York State Senator Reuben Diaz and all the other good men and women who resisted this illegitimate push to treat marriage and the family as if they were merely items on a moral smorgasbord of lifestyle choices.

+ The exec director of the Empire State Pride Agenda: "We certainly know who are friends. We certainly go to bed tonight knowing more about where our support is, and that's a victory." [AP]

+ Matt Baumgartner, who was at the capitol yesterday:

Frankly, I don't even know what else to do anymore. I'm certainly not alone, but I give money, I march in the marches, I try to be a good leader in the community. I donate. I listen. I encourage. I employ. I pay taxes. And yes, I admit, I violate the speed limit on a regular basis. We all can't be perfect.
But I have always been proud to be a New Yorker. To have been raised here, and to continue to live here, and to work here. I just feel like New York is better than this. I mean, c'mon, we're f******* NEW YORK!

+ David Paterson says he does not plan to push same-sex marriage legislation next year, unless it's guaranteed to pass. [NYDN]

+ A Marist poll released yesterday reported that New Yorkers support same-sex marriage 51-42. [Marist]

+ There's a protest planned for outside the capitol this evening at 5 pm at the intersection of Washington, State and Eagle.

screen grab: NYSenate.gov YouTube


Thanks Greg (and Mary) for giving us more details. And I really appreciate the posting of the link in FB!

Look forward to seeing some of you out there tonight.

The Catholic League might as well have released a statement saying "Our intolerance is completely irrelevant to secular society".

@Mrs. M

"The Catholic League" is just one freak named Bill Donohue who issues press releases of so little substance with such great frequency that he was the original inspiration for Twitter.

It's absolutely pathetic that the mainstream media occasionally picks up quotes by this freak. Although usually when they do, it's simply to create one of those "look at what this Harry Potter hating freak here is saying" type of story.

He is-- seriously-- just one pathetic loser, acting alone at his computer, who calls himself "The Catholic League."

He'll probably issue a press release about my blog comment here. I'm sure his Google News Alert will bring him right to this page. Hi Bill Donohue!

OK I made up that part about Twitter, but I'm not kidding about how many press releases this guy puts out. Look at his website: http://www.catholicleague.org/quarter_release.php

I just wanted to say thanks for the great rundown. I hadn't been following this and I learned a lot from this post alone. I'm really surprised by the nyc state senators but at the same time I'm not surprised.

And for your daily dose of WTF?, @Mrs. M

The aforementioned press releaser and staunch defender of the institution of marriage is, of course, divorced.

@Sandor @Duncan

Thank you for telling me that. I'm glad to know it's just one crazy dude and not any sort of "official word" from the Church.

@Mrs. M and others: I just added a quote from a statement by the executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference, which "represents New York State's Bishops in matters of public policy."

A heart-breaking decision. I was particularly offended by the statement from the Catholic League. The fairy tale that marriage + family = happily ever after is a dangerous one perpetuated by conservative religious denominations and, apparently, our own state government. What about unfaithfulness and disloyalty? Why is no one concerned about what THAT does to the sanctity of marriage?

Top three reasons why this didn't pass.

1. Entrenched Affirmative Action mandates in New York State. Gay marriage creates equality and therefore reverse-discrimination claims originating from married, hetero individuals opens up potentially damaging challenges to today's equal opportunity status quo, such as arguing the fundamental question: what defines any protected class for preferential treatment, and why do we even need this division any longer after 40 years?

2. Fear. 2010 will be unforgiving to incumbents. The old vote in higher percentages on off-year elections, the old skew towards traditional marriage, the old are even larger donors.

3. Greed. These marriages will not be a boon to the economy as the gay community have advocated. The data is out: states see an initial bump after the law passes and then, poof. Not worth the hassle or notoriety to be labeled a Same-Sex marriage state. Divorce lawyers disagree.

Jeff, help me understand your point #1. Equality under the law means homosexuals aren't a protected class anymore? I'm sure lots of minorities would be surprised by that, as well as members of any religion, anyone over 40, anyone of any gender, anyone born anywhere, etc etc.

A good clue is that "protected class" is not used identify people so much as it's a lexicological tool used to identify discrimination. Easy distinction to miss, except not really, if you use Google.

Also, can we all please stop using the term "reverse discrimination"? Discrimination is discrimination, adding qualifiers sounds like an attempt to make one form or the other seem more badder. It's a wonder people aren't choking themselves from clutching their pearls so hard.

@B, obviously, "reverse discrimination" will occur when my fiancé is forced to marry a person of the same sex instead of me.

It's part of the gay agenda, Sandor, that's actually penciled in for right after brunch.

All these big words people use scare me. I don't even know what anyone is talking about anymore.

I do know that even when they do make gay marriage legal, there will be something else to fight next that we'll all ooh and ahh about. Either way 50 years from now we'll look back and wonder why people were so uptight about this stuff.

I can't wait to break the news to my friends and family that I'm going to have the love child of the married couple I'm dating. Then this gay marriage stuff won't seem like a big deal, now will it?

Speaking of Bill Donohue of the "Catholic League" getting all bent out of shape over things, did anyone catch him on the recent 20th Anniversary documentary about The Simpsons (hosted by Morgan Spurlock)?

Donohue appears at 23:57 mins. talking about how offensive the Simpsons are to Catholics. You can watch it on Hulu:


Notice there isn't anyone else shown in Mr. Donohue's office.

P.S. My ripping on Bill Donohue has nothing to do with actual Catholics. It's just that this guy is a total joke, which is why he's a go-to guy for the media.

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