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.  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.

“There’s that little voice inside of you that tells you when you’ve done something right, and when you’ve done something wrong,” said Fred W. Thiele Jr., a Republican who represents the Hamptons. “That vote just never felt right to me. That little voice kept gnawing away at me.”

Mr. Thiele’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.

“They are asking only for equal protection under the law,” 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.

“They deserve no less than to have the same rights and ability to share their love,” 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 – Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa and Maine – 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.

Michael Boldin

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