Gay Anger Meets N.Y. Senate Leader

BY Julie Bolcer

August 08 2010 1:20 PM ET

Pressed on whether another marriage equality vote would come in 2011,
Sampson would not commit to a timetable, although he indicated a clear
preference for bringing the bill to the floor only when he knows the
votes exist to pass it. Last year’s vote, which took place despite an
uncertain outcome, represented a rarity for Albany, and the prospect of
two consecutive failures obviously troubles advocates.

“As everyone says
here, it’s not only the point of just bringing the bill to the floor,
it’s about bringing the bill to the floor to pass,” said Sampson. “And
therefore, there needs to be that dialogue, there needs to be a strategy
as we’re doing now, to make sure that we have those members who support
marriage equality, that we have them in place, and that those who may
disagree, also have an opportunity to have a dialogue with them to see
if they can evolve, as such as I have evolved.

“And that is the
hesitancy that you heard with respect to, meaning that, of course, I
could put the bill on the floor next month,” he continued. “But it’s not
the question of it going to the floor and, you know, getting 25 votes. I
think the point is getting it to the floor and passing.”

Still,
impatient speakers insisted that a tougher line from Sampson could
accelerate the process, especially given momentum from the Proposition 8
decision in California and the likely election of Andrew Cuomo as the next governor of New York. The popular attorney general has made marriage equality a prominent part of his reform-minded campaign platform.

“I
understand your problems, but you have to understand our situation,”
said Stonewall board member Marty Algaze. “If we were any other
minority, it would not be acceptable. You have to go to your conference
and you have to tell them, ‘The gay community is really fucking pissed
off and we’re not going to accept this shit anymore.’ We’ve come a long
way.”







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