Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Governor Spitzer talks about marriage equality in New York

In a call-in show called “Vox Pop” on WAMC Northeast Public Radio in Albany, Governor Spitzer talks about marriage equality and provides his views on the current political environment around the issue in New York. You can hear his discussion with “Vox Pop” host Alan Chartock beginning at 2’45” on the audio clip. For those of you downstate who are not familiar with “Vox Pop”, it is not too unlike “Inside City Hall” on NY1 in that it’s considered “must listening” for political junkies.

This is the Governor’s first extended remarks about the issue since the Assembly passed marriage equality legislation last year by an 85-61 vote. Spitzer reaffirms his support for the issue, talks about Republican support the bill received in the Assembly and how passing it in the State Senate will be an individual issue, a “Senator by Senator determination.” He concedes that having Democrats controlling the State Senate “probably would matter” in getting a vote, but emphasized that support from Senators will be more individual than partisan.

We thank the Governor for his continued strong support for marriage equality. We agree with him when he says support from legislators is individual in nature. Our community and our many allies and friends across the state made the case for marriage equality on a legislator-by-legislator basis last year leading up to the vote in the Assembly and that made a difference when the voting finally took place. It will also make a difference with State Senators when they take their vote on marriage equality for our families.

The Governor sharing his views on the issue came in response to a caller named Phil who identified himself as man in his upper 70’s who has been in a relationship for over twenty years. He said about his partner and himself: “We Pay taxes, we vote, we pay our dues to our community.” His question for the Governor: “Do you have any sense that within our lifetimes the state will recognize our relationship so that we can benefit from the privileges and responsibilities that other married couples enjoy in New York State?”

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