Hillary Clinton

New York Nuptials

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New York's Democratic party is one of the most fractious, with urban African-Americans, liberal Jews, ethnic suburbans and upstate union workers making up a coalition that nominated candidates as diverse as Daniel Moynihan, Chuck Schumer, and Hillary Clinton in the space of six years. So it's a little bit surprising that a healthy plurality of New York Democrats—48 percent—support full gay marriage rights. Only 32 percent oppose them. Pace University's poll doesn't go on to ask what Democrats think of civil unions, but we can extrapolate that the number is even higher.

Since it's a foregone conclusion that Eliot Spitzer is going to win the governor's mansion, not much attention is being paid to the sea change that could bring to gay rights. Spitzer supports gay marriage, and has said he'd sign a gay marriage bill that got to his desk. When he does so, he'll have an ascendent NY Democratic party backing him up. What will that portend for marriage rights nationally?

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  1. It won’t portend much. The gap between the sophisticated East Coast and the rest of the country is big enoough to march the Chinese army through it.

  2. You might not understand how New York State politics works.

    It is essentially a triumvirate: all power devolves to the Governor, the Senate Majority Leader and the Assembly Speaker. No legislation, of any kind, becomes law without the unanimous consent of those three. Polls do not matter, composition of the Legislature does not matter.

    So as long as Joe Bruno, or any other Republican, is the Senate Leader (something that will not change in the foreseeable future), there will not be legislatively-crafted gay marriage in NYS, period.

  3. Why is this such a big issue? Aren’t there far greater concerns for the American people than marriage rights?

  4. bane, I can only imagine you during the civil-rights movement during the 1960s:

    “Come on guys, civil liberties and equality under the law? But there’s Red China to worry about!”

  5. Exactly right, Ayn Randian, and we’re just waiting to be used on gays trying to get married.

  6. What will that portend for marriage rights nationally?

    A NY’r here – Yes, Kip above is right. I dont hear wedding bells anytime soon.

    Also agree here partly with Bane AND AynRynd =

    It’s kind of a non-issue issue, and a real issue at the same time… while it’s an important civil right – its significance is blown out of proportian in the overall scheme of things. Most of my gay friends support the idea, but have no plans to get married or really know anyone who does. Thats not saying there arent MANY who do! It’s that most supporters (like me) support the *right*…but dont have any immediate need to exercise that right.

    I’m just saying, i think it’s become a political beach-ball. I think Spitzer will be perfectly happy to lend his public support to a bill that has no chance of getting past the albany enforcers. He likes pretending to be a crusader.

    JG

  7. Oh ho, apparently “fire hoses” has never heard of Mathew Shephard. That’s OK, apparently it has to be as bad as the 1960s suppression in order to be a “real” problem. Just because we don’t literally “turn the dogs loose” anymore doesn’t make it any less odious of a discrimination.

  8. Ayn Randian,

    You’re the one making the comparison between gays not being able to get married and blacks being hosed and attacked with police dogs. “Fire hoses” is only showing how stupid that comparison is, not saying that the gays don’t have the right to get married.

  9. I just want my word back.

  10. Why is this such a big issue? Aren’t there far greater concerns for the American people than marriage rights?

    Yep, but it is possible for America to walk and chew gum at the same time.

    Anyway, it’s a big issue because the two sides don’t really understand each other (kinda like abortion). Pro-gays don’t see what the big deal is; anti-gays see it as some kind of sky-falling thing.

  11. I’m still perplexed that so many libertarians see this issue so superficially, they fall on the wrong side of it.

  12. jf, what the heck? Can you read?

    Gays not being able to get married = civil liberties violations

    Blacks not able to vote = civil liberties violations

    It’s the same violation even if the reaction is different! I never said that the REACTION was the same, just the civil-liberties violation.

    Wow, that was ignorant on your part.

  13. Well, AR, but being against state-sponsored marriage in any form, I refuse to believe that marriage is a “civil liberty.” In other words, I was arguing something other than your main point (superficial comparisons to the 1960s, which was wrong on my part). Yes, if you consider marriage to be a civil right, then the case can be made for a comparison. Sorry about being so ignorant, too.

  14. Well, AR, being against state-sponsored marriage in any form, I refuse to believe that marriage is a “civil liberty.” In other words, I was arguing something other than your main point (superficial comparisons to the 1960s, which was wrong on my part). Yes, if you consider marriage to be a civil right, then the case can be made for a comparison. Sorry about being so ignorant, too.

    (hope this isn’t a double post, but the server’s slow, and I had a correction to make)

  15. So it’s a little bit surprising that a healthy plurality of New York Democrats – 48 percent – support full gay marriage rights.

    I’ll remember that “healthy” minority of New York Democrats the next time a Yankee gripes about the shocked disappointment he has in southern states and Republicans on the subject of gay marriage.

  16. ha, jf, sorry about my tone. In actuality I agree with you, you’re not entitled to join a privileged class that makes others pay for choice (a la tax breaks). I was just incredulous that bane had the audacity to think “wait, there’s way more important things that government-sponsored discrimination!”. But I think the discrimination is against singles.

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