The New York state Senate voted 38 to 24 Wednesday to kill a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state. Despite the fact that the New York state Senate is currently ruled by a slim 32 to 30 Democratic majority, 8 Senate Democrats voted against the bill, causing its failure.
Several hundred rallied in New York City’s Times Square against the vote and more protests are planned. Eugene Lovendusky, who has lived in New York for three years, told the Gay City News, “I’m pissed off…I come from California and I’m already a second-class citizen there. Now I’m a second-class citizen here. I don’t know where I can call home.”
The opposition, however, are calling the vote “a huge win”, according to the New York Daily News.
The New York state Assembly voted 89 to 52 in May in favor of the bill. In 2007, the same bill passed the state Assembly, but was defeated in the state Senate. New York Governor David Paterson is a vocal supporter of the bill, but told a radio station that he “won’t reintroduce the issue unless [he sees] substantial change in the position of the legislators” in the state Senate, reported the New York Daily News.
A Siena College Research Institute poll released in April found the majority of New York residents support the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. The poll (see PDF) found that New Yorkers support passage by a 53 to 39 percent margin. The strongest support of passage is from Democrats, Independents, women, and young voters. The strongest opposition is from Republicans, men, African Americans, Protestants, and older voters.
Same sex marriage is currently legal in five states:
Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. This week, the Washington, DC city council voted to legalize same-sex marriage, but the bill must undergo a second vote before it can be signed into law. A legal challenge of Proposition 8, the November 2008 ballot initiative that overturned the right of same-sex marriage in California, is pending. Maine voters overturned legislation that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state in the November 2009 elections.