Just Released Poll Finds 53% To 39% Approve Of Bill Currently In State Senate
A state-wide poll found strong support for the marriage bill presented by Governor Paterson last week. Perhaps most surprising was the 50% to 40% margin of upstate voters who are in favor of the gay mariage bill. Those opposed were “males, blacks, Protestants and those over age 55. Republicans, by a 59 to 31 percent margin, were most opposed among the various subgroups…” according to The Buffalo News.
Last Thursday, surrounded by state and community leaders, Governor Paterson announced he would introduce the exact same gay marriage bill his predecessor had two years ago. The bill had passed the New York Assembly by a surprisingly wide margin, 85 – 61, in large part thanks to Assemblymember Daniel J. O’Donnell, who spoke at last week’s press conference, saying, “Someday soon, after 28 years of being engaged, I’m going to actually be allowed to be married.”
The Governor has received some criticism from state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as cautious concern from some gay-rights leaders who voiced concern that there were not enough votes to pass the bill. But speaking to their comments, the governor said “Silence should not be a response to injustice, and that if we take no action we will surely lose, maybe we’ve already lost.”
But even before results of the poll were released, opinions seem to have been rapidly moving in the governors direction. Last Tuesday, in advance of Thursday’s official announcement of the bill, the New York Times reported:
“This is not a guarantee of anything,” said Assemblyman Micah Z. Kellner, a Democrat from the Upper East Side who noted that it took two months for legislation legalizing same-sex marriage to get through the Assembly in 2007 before it ultimately stalled. The Senate never acted on the bill.”
But the following day, The Times reported Kellner as saying,
“And I think that all could happen rather quickly,” said Micah Z. Kellner, a Democratic assemblyman who represents the Upper East Side. Once the Assembly acts, it will be up to Senate Democrats, who control the chamber 32 to 30, to decide whether to bring it to the floor for a vote.”
As I wrote just two weeks ago, in “NY ♡s Gay Marriage“,
“Attitudes are viral. The tsunami of gay marriage news over the past week (Iowa, Vermont, Washington, D.C.,) has made a lot of fence-sitters rethink their position. The fact that Vermont was able to override its popular governor’s veto gives us hope that other lawmakers will stand up to the diminishing numbers the Right has on its side. … 74% of New Yorkers favor some form of legal recognition for same-sex couples. 41% favor legal gay marriage, 31% favor legal civil unions. While the numbers need to be stronger, studies show over time, attitudes have been dramatically improving.”
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