New York Junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand appropriated a favorite right wing trope used to block all things LGBT: "Think of the children!"
She went on to MSNBC to discuss the battle to pass marriage equality in New York state with Tamron Hall. I can't say I care for Hall's second question,
"We know where people stand on this, there is no evidence or no new research, it is a matter of what you believe or what you don't."
Hall seems to be placing this issue in the realm of blind faith, you believe or don't believe. But people's beliefs are always malleable on any issue, certainly this is true of marriage equality, as we see new converts popping up again and again.
Evidence is fast mounting proving that all this cockamamie talk of how the gays will destroy the sacred institution of marriage is pure nonsense. Ask Massachusetts, currently enjoy the lowest divorce rate in the country, as they have for many years.
But Gillibrand fields the question well, discussing her tactics for persuading people on this issue, saying she's been talking to the state Senators, Democratic and Republican. I also appreciated when she referenced the many laws that protect her and her own family, and that she just wanted that to be true for her friends as well.
One issue I've focused a lot of attention on is a lot our gay families are having children right now. And we want to make sure those children are protected, like all families. My husband and I, and my children are protected by state laws and Federal laws. And I want to make sure that all my friends who are gay who are having children, that those laws accrue to their families as well. We want to protect all New York families.
Clever. "Think of the children!"
But also true. A legal framework for defining the relationships amongst family members can avoid many problems later for LGBT families. Frankly, absent these legal protections, LGBT family units are in the wild, wild west and have to hope for the best.
I also am quite touched by how Kirsten says "our" gay families. It's little rhetorical tells that like speak volumes, in my opinion, to where a politician's heart really stands.
More stuff under the fold.
In case you missed my late update, here is video from Republican Jim Alesi's speech that I wrote about yesterday. The quality isn't great, but the speech is powerful. And it's nice to hear the crowd of 500's reaction to it.
National Organization for Marriage has declared victory, but I see no evidence to support the claim.
[Update: The link is dead. It was to the National Review Online and it was piece by Thomas Peters, the Cultural Director at the National Organization for Marriage. He declared in the original piece:
Proponents of gay marriage really needed a win in New York, having already lost this year in Maryland and Rhode Island — two deep blue states where Democrats hold the majority. In New York, as in the two most recent states gay marriage has failed, we were told well in advance that it was a “done deal.” Once again, that prediction was proven wrong as the NY Conservative Party, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom, and the churches — particularly the Catholic Church under Archbishop Dolan and the black churches — became fully engaged.NOM or the National Review Online has apparently pulled their premature declaration of victory. (Can you say "opposition in chaos?")
For gay-marriage supporters, it’s going to feel like a very long summer.
Edit 2: National Review Online has posted an updated piece with no mention of their premature declaration of victory. Opps.]
I suspect they
are doing did so because a deal was announced to move rent regulations and a few other bills forward, but not the marriage equality bill. Note, the other measures were a three way negotiation between the Governor and the Senate and Assembly leaders. Not so with marriage equality, which has already passed the Assembly. Capitol Tonight's Elizabeth Benjamin speaks with the Empire State Pride Agenda's Ross Levi about the bill:
Benjamin, a seasoned Albany insider, suggests the marriage equality vote will be last so Senators can "get outta Dodge." This is my inclination as well. A good way to manage the news is to be vacationing an unavailable to comment for a while. In truth, in two weeks the right wing crazies won't be able to get any media outlet to return their calls, and the story will be forgotten. Like many of the pro-equality insiders Levi appears eerily calm and confident. Meanwhile, opponents are looking frantic and changing tactics in the 11th hour.
CBS is reporting that negotiations are "inching closer" and a vote may come Wednesday or Thursday.
National Organization for Marriage has tacked to a "Kill the Bill and Let the People Vote!" rallying cry, asking the Senate for a ballot initiative. It's unclear to me if that's even possible, as NY doesn't have a ballot initiatives. But it's a good sign they know they'll lose a floor vote, should Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos put it on the floor and have focused efforts on stopping the legislature to do what they were sent to do: vote on issues people care about.
Another opponent Mike Long, leader of the Conservative Party has made an 11th hour tactical change as well. Capitol Tonight's Elizabeth Benjamin reports Long has flip-flopped from his position that he was OK with the Senate voting on the bill, to asking Senate Leader Dean Skelos to stop the vote.
This is it. They can't win on the votes, they know it, their only hope is to stop the vote from happening, and that's what they are trying to do.
Really, all we can do is call the Senators offices and urge them to vote yes, and soon. Ask your friend to do so too, please.
Some Key Senators
• Senator Gregory R. Ball of Putnam County (845) 279-3773
• Senator Charles J. Fuschillo Jr. of Suffolk County (516) 882-0630
• Senator J. Kemp Hannon of Nassau County (516) 739-1700
• Senator Andrew J. Lanza of Staten Island (718) 984-4073
• Senator Betty Little of Glens Falls (518) 743-0968
• Senator Mark Grisanti of Erie County (518) 455-3240
• Senator Stephen M. Saland of Poughkeepsie (845) 463-0840
• Senator John Flanagan of Long Island (518) 455-2071
• Every New Yorker should call Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (518-455-3171) email@example.com and tell him you want to see marriage equality put to the floor for a vote.
New Yorkers United For Marriage Equality Phonebank tonight:
Where: 330 W 42nd Street, 7th Floor
When: Wednesday, June 22nd 5:00pm-8:30pm
Check back, I may update this as news comes in through the day.
just called Grisanti's office & heard some very encouraging news..They are trying to get this voted on by this afternoon.
The Twitter hashtag #NY4M is a good one to watch for breaking news on this story.
10:26 AM PT: Celebrity chef Mario Batali and Audra McDonald, star of Broadway and ABC's Private Practice are in Albany lobbying Senators, according to The News Times.
Batali says he's at the Capitol representing his 3,000 employees, who understand they should be able to make their own decisions on marriage, not the government.The broad coalition of support is really touching.
10:39 AM PT: From Erik Engquist, Politics editor, Crain's New York Business.
Gay marriage in NY: I hear tomorrow will be the day. Openly gay legislators and their partners (+ other couples) planning a Thursday presserSigh... But do it right kids. We get one bite at the apple until 2013, I'm guessing. (Although technically, it could come up again next session. I have my doubts they'd try.
12:10 PM PT: From the New York Times:
Many lawmakers and staff members have said publicly and privately that they believe the issue would probably pass the 62-member Senate if it were put to a vote.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, let them vote!
12:27 PM PT: From The AP: NY leaders say no obstacles to gay marriage vote
Republican Senate leader Dean Skelos and Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver say after meeting with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo progress is being made and no major obstacles are in sight.
The measure could be voted on late Wednesday night.
1:59 PM PT: I was able to get the NY Senate Live Feed to embed properly on Daily Kos, which genuinely surprises me. So, I will post a diary of it, so we can watch together if the vote look imminent tonight. I am hearing rumors that that is possible.