ALBANY, NY (AP / CBSNewYork) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo, closely allied with the Senate Republican majority that once blocked gay marriage, said Tuesday he’s now optimistic it will be legalized in New York.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell: Gay Marriage Advocates Give Cuomo Credit

“I know it’s failed before, but I think this is a different day,” Cuomo said. “I’ll bring more urgency in the next few weeks.”

The Democrat says he believes the Senate will produce the 32 votes needed for passage in the six weeks remaining in the legislative session. The GOP majority in the Senate has strongly supported Cuomo’s fiscal platform, including cutting state spending, a 2-percent cap in the growth of property taxes and rejection of tax increases. Now Cuomo needs help to pass one of his highest priority policy goals.

Cuomo said talks with legislative leaders as well as the rising public poll numbers for gay marriage are among his reasons for optimism. He is also spearheading a new, concerted effort by advocates for same-sex marriage.

The Senate’s Republican majority plans to discuss the in a closed-door conference, after which the measure could go to a floor vote, said GOP majority spokesman Scott Reif. Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos has said his members are free to vote their conscience, even though the Republicans usually vote in a bloc.

Both sides are girding for a showdown after the bill’s surprising defeat in 2009.

More than 700 Protestant and Jewish clergy members endorsed same-sex marriage Tuesday through the Empire State Pride Agenda advocacy group, an attempt to blunt the opposition by Catholic leaders, orthodox Jewish leaders, and conservative Protestant ministers. A rally in support of legalization of same-sex marriage is planned for next week.

On the other side, Democratic Sen. Ruben Diaz, a minister, plans a May 15 rally in the Bronx for what he says is defense of traditional marriage between a man and woman.

“There is no basis in Scripture for the injustice of not allowing same-sex couples to marry,” said the Rev. Tom Davis of the United Church of Christ.

“I’d rather not quote Scripture in this argument, but that’s certainly not accurate,” said Dennis Poust, spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference. He said the Bible doesn’t discuss same-sex marriage which he said became an issue much more recently. The Bible does, however, delve into homosexuality, he said.

“While you can make a religious argument against changing the definition of marriage, the secular argument is stronger,” Poust said. He said the state’s interest in marriage is children from a sexual relationship. “It’s the only life-giving relationship there is and that’s why it’s a special relationship. It doesn’t mean gay people can’t be in love, but it’s a different relationship.”

Diaz, a Democrat, said he will remain a voice opposed to the measure in the Senate. In 2009, the bill that had passed in the Democrat-led Assembly failed by eight votes in the Senate which Democrats then held by a 32-30 majority. Republicans have since regained the majority, and two of the Republican senators who opposed the measure are no longer office, with some others hinting they may change their vote. In 2009, Democrats failed to muster even all 32 of their members to approve the bill, losing one of their top policy priorities.

“Whoever comes to this rally will be there because they support the growing movement in New York to protect marriage and to oppose proposals to redefine the definition of marriage to include homosexual marriage,” Diaz said.

(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.)

Comments (13)
  1. Straight and Narrow says:


  2. HooDatIS? says:

    those dudes are ugly
    i see why there gay my mother even thinks there hideous
    made for each other

  3. nyc says:

    What is up with the increased amount of gay people ? They should have all rights that anyone has. It also shows how fudged up people have become in our society that this is happening. Sad.

  4. Don says:

    Government should get out of the marriage-regulating business. Problem solved.

    1. HARLEM GOING HAM says:

      I AGREE

  5. andrea says:

    I am so happy this should not even be an issue. Everyone is equal in the eyes of
    God. Everyone deserves a happy life. Peace.

  6. Rod in says:

    About time. I don’t have healthcare until I can sign up on my partner’s.

    1. Nick says:

      Now all your stupid comments makes sense, Rodin.

    2. HARELM GOING HAM says:


  7. Richard T. says:

    Hello Nick, We ALL deserve to have the same civil rights in this country. It is unfortunate however that imbecilic people such as yourself are breeders. It just permits the continued line of stupid people with little minds.

    1. Nick says:

      It is called Nature. Forget about those make believe gods. It’s Nature. Gays by definition in Nature is a dead end. Why bother nurturing it. Bad for the species. Bad for the gene pool. But than I wouldn’t expect you gays to get suddenly not stupid and understand basic science.

      Oh, I also love how you protect “civil liberties” by constant censorship. So to repeat what you’ve censored:

      Well of course gays would be staunch Democrat supporters. They’re too stupid to know what sex they are. You think they’re suddenly not stupid on anything else?

      1. Richard T. says:

        Nature as you call it, also allows for the creation of two-headed snakes, a ctegory for which I believe that you belong to! Hrmpf!

      2. Nick says:

        Thank you for constantly proving my point on various genetic rejects’ stupidity status.

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