Today New York state lawmakers rejected a bill that would have legalized gay marriage in the Empire State. New York would have been the sixth such state to do so. This is a painful blow to supporters of gay rights who were dealt another setback when a similar bill fell to intolerant opposition in Maine in October.
According to The Huffington Post the bill needed 32 votes to pass in the state Senate but was defeated by a vote of 38-24. This margin was apparently wider than anticipated. The state Assembly had earlier approved the bill, and New York Governor David Paterson, a strong supporter, had pledged to sign it.
It seems that there were some private assurances of support from six Democrats who opposed the bill come voting time, when it was expected that only 2 or 3 would vote against it. No Republicans supported the bill, despite hope that several GOP senators would come out in support of the bill.
This is really unfortunate. Once again entrenched bias defeats equal rights and liberal values. The pendulum, which had been swinging toward national gay marriage legalization, has slowed a bit with last month's referenda and this latest blowback in New York. It will take longer but I think I will see gay marriage legalized to a large degree nationwide in my lifetime (I'm 29).
Do you agree with this decision? Will we see more states adopt gay marriage or will New York and Maine's decisions shift the tide toward a conservative retreat from progress in this area of equal rights?