Assembly Same-Sex Marriage Flipper
Following the Senate GOP’s punt earlier today on same-sex marriage, attention has turned to the Assembly, which requested – and received – a message of necessity from Gov. Andrew Cuomo so it can circumvent the three-day aging process and vote on his program bill this afternoon.
Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell, the bill’s sponsor, just Tweeted that the bill is through the Rules Committee and headed to the floor for the fourth time in NYS history soon.
Republicans, particularly Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, have been suggesting that there might not be sufficient votes in the chamber to pass the bill yet again. Advocates have rejected that assertion, and I guess we’ll be finding out who’s right soon enough.
The Democrat-Republican split in the chamber is now 99-51, with four vacant seats on the Democratic side. There are also a handful of members in both conferences who have a history of crossing the aisle on this issue. The pro-marriage folks just got some good news from Assemblyman Nelson Castro, a Bronx Democrat, who announced he has changed his mind and plans to vote “yes” today.
Castro’s full statement appears after the jump.
“During this year’s debate, and during past votes, I have struggled with this complicated issue,” Castro said. “I am guided by my faith and have sought much counsel on the matter, and my beliefs and convictions will not change.”
“However, as a legislator, I have a civic responsibility to apply the law fairly and to respect the decisions of others. My decision is eased by the fact that this legislation does not demand religious acceptance, but basic civil protection that has been unfairly denied New Yorkers – including those in my district – for too long.”
“Just as a one can personally oppose abortion and be pro-choice, one need only see the importance of equal treatment under the law for all New Yorkers in order to vote in favor of marriage equality.”
“I polled people across my district and was particularly impressed by my young constituents’ thoughts on the issue. Either they cared very deeply, or took that marriage should be a legal right for everyone as a given. But across the board, young New Yorkers understood how denying a legal right like civil marriage negatively affected their friends, members of their families or themselves.”
“Particularly in lower-income districts like mine, civil marriage can provide a family with literally thousands of legal and economic protections they were denied before. As a proud representative of my constituents, I owe it to all the families in my districts to fight on their behalf for equal access.”
“Now is the time to remedy a glaring inequality in New York law. But then we must immediately turn our focus to other critical issues that affect our constituents’ lives. Measures on affordable housing, quality education and ethics reform will have their own implications for the economic equality of New Yorkers. I urge my Senate colleagues to join me in supporting marriage equality for New York.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on June 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm, and is filed under Assembly, Bronx, Democrats, Same-sex Marriage. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|