The New York State Assembly has asserted Sovereignty for the State of New York by approving measure (A07732) to allow for same-sex marriages.
The measure, from Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, passed by a margin of 89 to 52, including the backing of five Republicans.Â in the state’s lower house, where Democrats have a comfortable majority. A similar bill passed in the same assembly by an 85-61 vote in 2007.
As reported by the NY Times:
Despite the conservative pressure, two Republicans spoke on Tuesday about why they dropped their opposition to granting same-sex couples the right to marry. Three Democrats who voted no in 2007 switched their votes to yes.
â€œThereâ€™s that little voice inside of you that tells you when youâ€™ve done something right, and when youâ€™ve done something wrong,â€ said Fred W. Thiele Jr., a Republican who represents the Hamptons. â€œThat vote just never felt right to me. That little voice kept gnawing away at me.â€
Mr. Thieleâ€™s district overlaps with the Senate district of Kenneth P. LaValle, whom gay rights advocates consider to be among the half-dozen or so Republicans open to a yes vote.
Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey said a lesbian couple who live on her street helped change her mind.
â€œThey are asking only for equal protection under the law,â€ said Ms. Duprey, a Republican whose district along the Canadian border in the North Country overlaps with the Senate district of Elizabeth Little, another Republican who gay rights supporters believe is within reach.
â€œThey deserve no less than to have the same rights and ability to share their love,â€ Ms. Duprey added.
Local advocates of the measure didn’t expect much resistance in the Assembly, but many say winning over the Senate remains a much steeper political mountain to climb despite its Democratic majority.
Five states â€“ Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa and Maine â€“ have exercised their sovereignty and have legalized gay marriage. In New Hampshire, a gay marriage bill awaits Governor John Lynch’s signature to become law.
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