Sunday, June 28, 2009

Now not the time for marriage bill

Now not the time for marriage bill

CAPITAL REGION — For now, same-sex marriage is off the table in New York — and some supporters of the proposed bill to legalize same-sex marriage think that’s fine.

They say they don’t want the bill to be enacted while the leadership of the state Senate is in dispute because they fear that that would make it easier for opponents to get it overturned later on. Some had expected the Senate to take up the bill, which was passed by the Assembly in May, this week. Gov. David Paterson has said that he would sign it if it reached his desk.

“We’re not disappointed,” said Nora Yates, executive director of the Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Council. “We want marriage equality to be legal and not be partisan and not be in question. Because of all the confusion, we’re glad it’s not coming up. This is not a partisan issue. It’s people’s lives. We would like marriage removed from the drama.”

Even so, same-sex couples are anxious, Yates said.

“Having marriage equality is a daily issue for them,” she said.

Above the fray

In a statement, Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, said that the Senate needs to handle the marriage bill “respectfully.”

“State senators need to know that it is unacceptable to leave Albany without voting on and passing the marriage bill,” Van Capelle said. “Marriage equality is not a partisan issue and should never be used as a political football in the current situation that has caused complete gridlock in our state capitol. Thousands of New York families expect and need senators to immediately figure out a way to work together and start doing the people’s business. ... We expect that marriage will be at the top of the agenda when the stalemate is over and the Senate resumes its business, but only when we are certain that any such vote taken by the Senate is valid and not subject to legal challenge.”

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