Thursday, June 16, 2011

Down to the wire for marriage in NY

The New York State Assembly has passed marriage equality. Now, it's up to the Republican-controlled Senate, which hasn't even decided whether to bring the issue to the floor (which must be done by Friday). We need 32 votes. We have 31. One more GOP-er must vote in favor. If it passes the Senate, the Governor has sworn to sign it.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan has written what some call a diatribe claiming that HIS view of religion supersede all others (see my Daily Kos diary for my comparison of Abp Dolan's drama, with the sensible words of pro-marriage equality Episcopal Bishop of Long Island.)

The fig-leaf is "religious freedom" but the question is whose? As pointed out in this NY Times Op/Ed,
Several senators also have religious concerns, intensified by powerful opposition to same-sex marriage from Roman Catholic Church leaders and some rigorously Orthodox rabbis. The proposed legislation provides for what are called “carve-outs”: Members of the clergy who object to such marriages would not be obligated to perform them or to allow their houses of worship to be used for them.

Why such language is deemed necessary is somewhat perplexing. Where is it now written that priests, ministers, rabbis or imams must preside over ceremonies that violate their consciences? Plenty of them won’t have anything to do with interfaith marriages; nobody seems to consider their refusal a human rights violation.
A different Times article points out that the Republicans are between a classic rock-and-a-hard-place.
If the measure does not pass now, Republicans could face political challenges on two fronts: an array of angry and well-financed gay-rights groups seeking to unseat Republican incumbents in the elections next year, and potential attacks or primary challenges against Mr. Alesi and Mr. McDonald from the right.

If you are in New York, please contact your Senator-- it is urgent that you do so (if you aren't in New York, please don't call. They don't care what people out-of-state think, they care what their constituents think.) These are the most likely swing votes:
Sen. Greg Ball (Putnam County) (518) 455-3111
Sen. Joe Griffo (Utica) (518) 455-3334
Sen. Mark Grisanti (Buffalo, Grand Island, Niagara Falls) (518) 455-3240
Sen. Andrew Lanza (Staten Island) (518) 455-3215
Sen. Jack Martins (Nassau County/Garden City) 518-455-3265

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