Bloomberg Lobbies State Senate Republicans For Gay Marriage
On Tuesday, Mayor Bloomberg joined a growing list of influential people traveling to Albany to lobby the State Senate to legalize gay marriage. NY1's Erin Billups filed the following report.
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg met one-on-one with several Republican lawmakers in Albany Tuesday to convey mainly one message.
“They can fight the rising tide of marriage equality, betraying their party’s core principles," said Bloomberg.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is openly gay, was also in Albany. She was also asking Senate Republicans, who were largely responsible for the bill’s defeat in 2009, to take up the legislation once again.
“For the New Yorkers who are LGBT, does the New York State Senate want to say they matter?” said Quinn.
Still, it is unclear whether the bill has the votes to pass. An informal NY1 tally still shows the votes are not there.
Just Monday, one Republican thought to be on the fence announced he would not support gay marriage, opting instead for civil unions, which most Republicans support.
"No one’s saying that you should quit the fight with respect to changing the definition of the word 'marriage,' but at least get all the things you say you need and want,” said Republican Staten Island Senator Andrew Lanza.
The mayor said he wants to see the gay marriage bill voted on this session in the Senate, regardless of whether it will pass, but Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he does not want a vote for the sake of a vote.
“These are up or down, yes or no votes, and everybody should have the courage of their own convictions, whatever it is, to go on the record,” said Bloomberg.
Republicans have not disclosed whether they will bring the bill the floor before the end of session next month.
Bloomberg told GOP senators he would automatically support their re-election if they help pass gay marriage. But to the disappointment of some, he would not say whether he would refuse support for those who vote it down.
“I think it’s sad that he’s not making marriage a litmus test for that kind of financial support,” said Democratic Manhattan Senator Tom Duane.
“The real world is, you cannot pick one issue and say 'It’s all or nothing,'" said the mayor.
Lawmakers have just 14 days of work left on the legislative calendar to tackle this and several other controversial issues.