With Marriage in NY Still Not Decided, Media Sharpens Focus on Albany

New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos

State Senators in New York adjourned on Thursday night without having voted on the proposed marriage bill. 

Nick Confessore of The New York Times posted a tweet this morning saying, “One Republican senator says conference has not yet seen religious exemption language and is waiting on that.” The bill can only be brought to a vote by state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

The New York Times criticized Republican lawmakers for continued negotiations around language in the bill. The Times editorial board wrote, “Mr. Cuomo’s bill handled the balance between religious freedom and the freedom against discrimination just right. No one needed to change it, and especially not furtively.” New Yorkers United for Marriage also spoke out and urged state senators to vote on the legislation.

On Thursday night, several local and national news programs covered the New York marriage bill, as well as President Obama’s appearance at a fundraiser for LGBT supporters in New York City.

Keith Olbermann discussed the New York bill and President Obama’s fundraiser with actress Janeane Garofalo on Countdown, which is now on Current TV. Olbermann also dedicated his Comment to criticizing anti-gay activists who are opposed to marriage equality.

Freedom to Marry’s executive director, Evan Wolfson, appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and NY1’s Inside City Hall.

Other MSNBC shows delved into the two stories, including Hardball, on which guest host Ron Reagan, Jr., talked to Fred Sainz of the Human Rights Campaign and blogger John Aravosis of AMERICAblog. Cenk Uygur spoke with Lt. Dan Choi and HRC’s Brian Ellner. Rachel Maddow on her show spoke to Mayor Jason West of New Paltz, N.Y., who faced charges in 2004 after he officiated the marriages of several gay and lesbian couples in the town.

On the Daily Show, Jon Stewart pointed out that state senators had passed a bill declaring sweet corn as the state vegetable.

Some of the guests on these shows criticized the president for not coming out in support of marriage equality, though he did speak briefly about the legislation. The president said, “Right now, I understand there’s a little debate going on here in New York […] New York is doing exactly what democracies are supposed to do. Slowly but surely we find the way forward. That is how we will achieve change that is lasting.” Some LGBT advocates held a protest outside of the venue for the fundraiser.

Marriage equality advocates in New York and around the country continue to tweet with the hash tag #NY4M, and GLAAD will continue to provide updates at http://www.glaad.org/ny4m.