Now this is leadership. As promised, New York Gov. David Peterson unveils legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. The governor frames the marriage equality debate as a civil rights issue and calls "on the Legislature to add New York to the four states that have already authorized such unions."
The New York Times: "Comparing the status of gay men and lesbians to that of African-Americans, Jews, women and other groups who were historically excluded from full political and social equality, Paterson said he would lead a movement to authorize same-sex marriage. "We have a crisis of leadership today. We’re going to fill that vacuum."
"Paterson, the state's first black governor, compared the same-sex marriage debate today to the abolitionist and civil-rights movements in the 19th and 20th centuries. 'This is a civil rights issues,' Mr. Paterson said, citing issues like hospital visitations, health insurance coverage and inheritance that are connected with marriage. He called for an end to 'a legal system that has systematically discriminated against all of them.'"
The bill is similar to one that passed the Assembly in 2007 but stalled in the then-Republican controlled Senate. The new Democratic majority leader, Senator Malcolm Smith of Queens, pledges action on the bill only when he has sufficient votes for passage. The Democrats hold a razor thin 32-30 majority in the Senate and it's believed the bill is several votes shy of passage.
New York City’s new Roman Catholic Archbishop, Timothy Dolan, was installed on Wednesday. On his very first day as the spiritual leader of New York's 2.5 million Catholics, the new archbishop said he will ensure the measure never passes.