Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn Lobby To Legalize Gay Marriage In NY

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg personally lobbied Republican state senators Tuesday to legalize gay marriage, while the Senate’s Democratic leader predicted the measure won’t even get to the floor this year.

Bloomberg, a major campaign contributor to the Senate GOP majority, said he argued that legalizing gay marriage is consistent with traditional Republican views of limiting government.

“Government shouldn’t be in the business of telling people what they can do with their personal lives, as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody,” Bloomberg said. “It doesn’t mean everybody has to agree, but nobody’s getting hurt.”

City Council Speaker also spent much of the day lobbying Albany lawmakers as well.

“I’m extremely optimistic that when the bill gets to the floor, it will pass, the governor will sign it and marriage equality will finally be the law of our great state,” Quinn told 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks Hears From City Council Speaker Christine Quinn

The mayor called gay marriage “one of the defining issues of our lifetime,” and warned Senate Republicans they don’t want to “end up on the wrong side of history.”

Democratic Sen. Thomas Duane of Manhattan, sponsor of the bill and the Legislature’s first openly gay lawmaker, criticized Bloomberg for heavily funding the campaigns of Republicans who oppose gay marriage. “Talk is cheap,” he said.

“I detest the culture of pay-to-play here in Albany, but the mayor participates in it heavily, and yet marriage equality does not seem to be part of his litmus test,” Duane said in an interview after Bloomberg’s comments. “I do not understand why he continues to support them so generously, and yet none of them support my right to get married.”

Duane said he’s frustrated Senate Republicans, key to approval, haven’t yet committed publicly to supporting same-sex marriage. But he said he doesn’t believe the effort is weakening as the June 20 end of the regular legislative session approaches.

In an effort to help push the issue, Democratic Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell of Manhattan, entertainer Rosie O’Donnell’s brother, introduced a same-sex marriage bill.

One of the gay rights advocates was less optimistic Tuesday.

Queer Rising issued a joint statement with the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club in New York City criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s comment last week that he won’t bring the issue to the Republican-controlled Senate unless its passage is certain. The groups see that as a weakening of the effort by the popular Democratic governor, who has been closely allied with the Senate’s Republican majority on budget and property tax cap initiatives.

“Cuomo’s support for marriage equality is appearing more to be a political stunt than an act of commitment to do the right thing,” said Queer Rising’s Natasha Dillon. “The governor has not done the lobbying necessary to change votes. He had misled New Yorkers into believing that passage of marriage equality was going to happen this year and now is backtracking.”

Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto denied that.

“The governor is working closely on a coordinated strategy with key legislators, groups, and advocates to see that marriage equality becomes the law of this state,” Vlasto said.

The coalition working with Cuomo, New Yorkers United for Marriage, responded that many other advocates “are committed to this legislative strategy which requires persistence, patience, dedication, discipline and most of all unity … We thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership and stand together for equality.”

Senate Democratic leader John Sampson of Brooklyn also defended Cuomo’s efforts. Sampson said Tuesday in an interview that he has more votes for a gay marriage bill than when the measure lost in 2009, but that Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos won’t let it get to a floor vote.

“I don’t expect Sen. Skelos to bring it to the floor, if the Conservative Party has anything to do with it,” Sampson said. “I believe the governor is doing all he can to push the issue, but there is deafening silence from the Senate majority.”

Skelos, like influential state Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long, opposes legalizing gay marriage. But Skelos has said he would allow his conference to vote its conscience on the issue. There was no immediate comment from Skelos on Tuesday.

“They said they would” bring it to the floor, Bloomberg said, “I assume they would.”

The Republicans hold a 32-30 majority in the chamber, where a gay marriage bill fell eight votes shy of approval in 2009 despite Democrats holding the majority. The measure has strong support in the Democrat-led Assembly.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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  • Ivan Baddboi

    Bloomberg is so corrupt that IOWA got gay marriage before NYC and only ONE MAN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT:


    The biggest two-face fraud America has ever seen. He always does this: if he plays BOTH sides, he is guaranteed to be on the winning team!

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    she is a lowlife

    • Ivan Baddboi


      Oh right: it took NJ prosecutors to bring Bernie Kerik down. And that was only AFTER he left the safety of POWER.

  • richard Allen

    Why aren’t the republican in favor of this?????

    It would mean more JOBS for me as a Wedding DJ…..

    I’m hurting this year I had a lot of HS and College reunions canceled do to the lack of people who can afford $100+ a ticket.

    And we know Gay people will NOT be cheap about their wedding!

    Its about JOBS……not morality!

    • richard Allen

      Here is a good chance to show America the repubs are not schmucks…and support A REAL JOBS BILL.

    • There. I said it.

      You are a NINCOMPOOP!

  • TWIX


  • jason

    no F YOU! get a life loser. Suck a C*ck… youll like it

  • Louis Flores

    We wouldn’t be in the struggle for marriage equality now were it not for the fact that Mayor Bloomberg appealed a landmark 2005 marriage equality ruling. The author of this article isn’t writing the whole history of the marriage equality fight (at least what happened back in 2005), to give the recent movement some context. The strategy in NY State is legislative today, precisely because the judicial strategy failed in 2005 because Mayor Bloomberg appealed a decision that would have legalised marriage equality using the courts. Politicians are and have been standing in the way, so QR’s direct action strategy is very valid.

    If he really believed that marriage equality is the single most important issue facing New York State, why did Mayor Bloomberg appeal Judge Ling-Cohen’s 2005 ruling ? Granted, maybe the mayor has had an Ah-Ha moment in the time since, but it seems that the criticism by Sen. Duane in some versions of the A wire story moved by the AP seem to still paint the mayor as playing both sides of the same coin.

    • Ivan Baddboi

      Bloomberg was ALWAYS against Gay Marriage.



  • Something should be done

    They should not legalize gay marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman to form a family and through their family serve their community. I am not against gay people, since everybody deserves to be respected and like any other citizen they have rights to be heard. But up to a certain point, our son (11 years old), told us the other day “is it me or there are more and more gay people everywhere?” We explained to him that everybody has the right to be themselves as long as they don’t pass that thin line where other people’s right start. There should be some kind of legal contract established to protect each other. Like right to receive health insurance from their partners, for example. but MARRIAGE no.

    • KPMc

      How does someone else’s marriage effect you? If you can make a case that your rights are somehow infringed you might have a case but I don’t see it.

    • Michael H.

      “Marriage is between a man and a woman to form a family”

      So an infertile couple should not be allowed to marry? Nor an elderly couple beyond child bearing years? Two men or two women raising either an adopted or biological (through donor or surrogacy) child cannot be defined as a family?

      Your argument is full of holes. You should fix that before trying to push it again.

      • Abdul Rehman

        agree 100%

  • Tina

    It’s people’s private business if they behave immorally. It certainly doesn’t need to be made public and certainly not legal. Children need mothers and fathers, and G-d created it that way for a reason. Marriage should not be redefined.

    • Michael H.

      “Children need mothers and fathers”

      Tell that to all the children raised successfully in single parent or gay family households.

      Don’t push YOUR morals on the rest of the world.

      • xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

        Don’t push YOUR morals on the rest of the world

        More problems are created by this MTV culture plus it cost the tax payer so give it rest you degenerate

      • Bell Toller

        @Michael H.

        May I push in your stool?

    • Ivan Baddboi

      MOVE TO IRAN you anti-american nutjob psycho right wing neo-nazi kook.

      They hate liberalism too, just like your terrorist heroes Bin Laden and Hussein!

  • Mike Golab

    Your Mayor is worried about being on the Wrong side of History,’
    He should be More Worried About Being On the Wrong Side of HELL.
    This sets a Horrible Example for young Children and Young Adults,,,,
    NO ETHICS OR MORALS BY Someone Who is Rich, In Power,
    and some look up to him for Leadership as a Mentor. HE Gets
    A Failing Grade in Common Sense and Decency. He is Part of the
    Reason This Nation is Deteriorating and Why the Foreign Nations
    and Muslim Fundamental NUTS hate America. NO MORAL FIBER.
    When You Fall for Such a Big Lie YOU Will FALL FOR ANYTHING.

    • Damien

      lol @ mike

    • KPMc

      If gay marriage is the reason fundamentalists nuts hate us then you’ve just made the case for why it should be legal. I, for one, don’t want to change American ideals to suit them. That would be surrender.

      Long live freedom and democracy.

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