At a private dinner last night with influential gay leaders and elected officials, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reverses himself on same-sex marriage. New York's senior senator now supports marriage for gay and lesbian couples and a full reversal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which he voted for years ago.
Schumer's surprising remarks were announced at a dinner organized by Empire State Pride Agenda executive director Alan Van Capelle. (Pride Agenda’s statement on Schumer’s position is here.) "It’s time," Schumer’s office said in a statement to the Daily News. "Equality is something that has always been a hallmark of America and no group should be deprived of it. New York, which has always been at the forefront on issues of equality, is appropriately poised to take a lead on this issue."
Schumer's announcement comes about two months after incoming Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced her change of position on gay marriage and the repeal of DOMA. Gov. David Paterson appointed Gillibrand to succeed former Sen. Hillary Clinton who was appointed Secretary of State.
Schumer and Clinton were long pressured by LGBT activists in New York to change their position from supporting civil unions to backing full marriage. Both refused to budge but "Schumer’s change of heart will almost certainly bolster efforts to pass marriage legislation in Albany," notes Edge New York.
Accorrding to eQualityGiving, Schumer joins "5 other US senators and 22 members of the House of Representatives" who publicly support full marriage equality.