Very interesting. Gay City News has surveyed the New York State Senate and reports five state senators who voted against same-sex marriage in December 2009 are now "taking no public position" on the issue.
Those possibly reconsidering include two of the eight shameful Democrats who helped defeat marriage by a 38-24 vote in December 2009. One surprising name: State Sen. Shirley Huntley, the Queens politician who famously told Dr. Maya Angelou that she "wouldn't take a million dollars" to vote for marriage equality.
According to statements on the record (to Gay City News and/ or other media), two Democrats who previously voted no—Joe Addabbo and Shirley Huntley of Queens—and three Republicans in the same category—James Alesi of Fairport, Greg Ball of Brewster, and Joseph Griffo of Utica—are currently taking no public position on the marriage bill.
Griffo’s undeclared status first became known in an April 26 email message to Gay City News from his office. Rayan Aguam, the senator’s director of communications & community relations, wrote, "Senator Griffo won't comment until it's clear which bill will come before the Senate for a vote. He wants to see all the details of the legislative proposal laid out before him before he makes his decision. It wouldn't surprise anyone if Senator Duane's current bill is amended or if another bill is substituted."
The position of freshman Republican Jack Martins of Garden City is not fully clear from the public record, and he did not respond to Gay City News’ request for comment.
In March, Huntley became the second anti-gay Senate Democrat targeted by a corruption probe. Huntley is accused of directing some $400,000 to non-profits controlled by her family. The case is ongoing. Disgraced and formerly closeted anti-gay New York State Sen. Carl Kruger was outed in a federal corruption probe announced in March. Kruger surrendered to federal authorities on corruption charges but is still serving.
Queens Sen. Joseph Addabbo earned the wrath of activists after voting "no" ... after campaigning on a marriage equlity platform and acceptng significant donations from LGBT activists.
The three-term, 72-year-old Huntley and rabid gay-basher Ruben Diaz Sr. were the only two Black senators to vote against the mariage bill. During her hotly-contested November 2010 primary battle with pro-equality Lynn Nunes, Huntley blamed alleged death threats on LGBT activists. Nunes narrowly lost the challenge.
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