More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
Vote Not Yet Set for Marriage, but Gov. Cuomo is "Cautiously Optimistic"
Republican state senators in New York are reportedly still unsure if they will bring the proposed marriage legislation to a vote. The Associated Press reports that the bill “isn't on the immediate agenda but could be later Wednesday after talks on a tax cap, New York City rent control and public college tuition increases.”
Either way, demonstrations are being held outside the Senate conference, and Capital Tonight reports on Twitter that TV chef Mario Batali has joined marriage equality advocates in Albany. Actress and singer Audra McDonald is also reportedly supporting marriage equality at the Capitol.
Yesterday evening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke to reporters outside of his office and said, “I’m cautiously optimistic when it comes for a vote that it’s going to pass.” Cuomo said he believes New York residents deserve to see lawmakers vote on the bill and, “I believe that’s how democracy works and I believe the state is entitled to a vote, on this issue.” One Republican state senator, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, "I don't know how you stop a vote from happening.”
New York Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long, who in April called for a vote on marriage legislation, said in a statement to Republican senators, “Once again, we urge you to stand strong for traditional marriage and not put a bill on the floor. Any bill that will harm our state should not be allowed a vote.” Michael Johnson of Capital Tonight responded, “Obviously, the dynamic has changed now that there are 31 senators publicly supporting gay marriage, and several other Republican Senators openly speaking about the need for religious protections in the bill.”
On yesterday’s episode of ABC’s The View, the conversation turned to former New York Giants player David Tyree’s work with the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage in the group’s efforts opposing marriage equality in New York. Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck came to Tyree’s defense and said, "I know David Tyree. I know his heart. He said he has not hate. He loves everyone. He believes everyone is created by God and should be loved as such.” Hasselbeck later used Twitter to clarify that she is in support of marriage for gay and lesbian couples.
The national conversation around the bill has also led reporters to ask former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who announced his candidacy for president yesterday, whether he would use federal powers to challenge a marriage equality law in New York. Huntsman said, "I would respect the state's decision on that.”
GLAAD will continue to add New York marriage updates to http://www.glaad.org/ny4m.