Archive for Log Cabin Republican

Log Cabin: GOP Says NY Sens. Can Vote For Gay Marriage

Posted in Actions, Governor David Patterson, Marriage, New York with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by jeffbhall

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The Log Cabin Republicans announced on Tuesday in The Advocate that New York State Republicans have been given permission to cast what is being called a “conscience vote” in favor of Gov. David Paterson’s marriage-equality bill.  The Republican State Legislative leadership is telling its caucus in the State Assembly and State Senate that the Republican Party will take no official position and are taking a neutral stand on the issue of marriage equality.  In essence the Republican Party is now more progressive on gay marriage than the Obama White House, which has stated it’s opposition to gay marriage.

Jeff Cook, who is the legislative adviser for the Log Cabin Republicans explained why this is such a significant decision.  Quoting from The Advocate article,

“…the decision stood in stark contrast to the tack taken in 2007, when assembly minority leader Jim Tedisco and the GOP leadership pressured assembly Republicans to vote against marriage equality.

“We were successful in that environment in getting four Republicans to vote yes, making it the first bipartisan vote on marriage in a legislative chamber,” Cook said. “But we would have probably done better if there was a ‘vote of conscience.'”

Cook called it “significant” that “the center of gravity in both parties has shifted on this issue to where Republicans now feel like their conference needs to be neutral and Democrats feel their conference needs to be emphatic in support.”

The article goes on to point out that a Siena poll released on Monday found 53% of the state’s voters want Governor Paterson’s marriage-equality bill passed, while only 39% are opposed to it.

In order to become law, the bill must pass both the State Assembly and the State Senate.  The New York State Assembly is expected to pass the equality bill; but the battle ground remains in the Senate.  While Senate Democrats, lead by Majority Leader Malcom A. Smith, have control of the Senate by a slim margin of 32 – 30, four Democrats are already vowing to vote against equality.  The four Democrats include Senator George Onorato (D-Queens) and Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. (D – Bronx).

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