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Paterson introduces gay marriage bill

April 16, 2009 3:36:27 PM PDT
No one said it would be easy, and Governor Paterson knows that as he pushes ahead in introducing legislation that would legalize same sex marriage. "Marriage equality is about basic civil rights and personal freedom," Governor Paterson said. "Too many individuals face legal discrimination every single day. Too many loving families do not receive the legal recognition they deserve. Anyone who has ever faced intolerance of any kind knows the solemn importance of protecting the rights of all people. That is why we stand together today to embrace civil rights for every New Yorker. We stand together today for marriage equality in the State of New York."

At the same time, he's got some rather strong opposition, from religious leaders to the average citizen.

Governor Paterson's move comes after Vermont became the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage.

The governor has supported same sex marriage for years.

"Our work to correct injustice cannot depend on factors like timing or guaranteed success," Governor Paterson added. "For too long, LGBT New Yorkers have been told to wait for their civil rights and personal freedom. We will not wait any longer. Now is the time for action. Now is the time for leadership. Now is the time to march forward together."

The same sex bill Paterson introduced is the same piece of legislation Gov. Spitzer rolled out in 2007.

"I agree with the governor that this is the right time to get this bill done, because I don't think same sex couples can wait another year," said Allen Van Capelle, with Empire State Pride.

There is opposition for same sex marriage across New York State. New New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan spoke about the bill on Wednesday, shortly before being installed.

"I would have things to say about that, you bet," he said. "And of course I wouldn't be making it up, it's pretty well articulated the teaching of the church from the highest authority."

Others are meeting Thursday to discuss how to block the bill. The meetings are being led of State Senator Reuben Diaz of the Bronx, who happens to also be a minister.

Political experts do not expect the bill to pass, but gay couples can get married across the border in Connecticut, Massachusetts and, later this month, in Vermont.

Web Produced By: Scott Curkin


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