Quinn Wants Senate Marriage Commitment

She called on Senate majority leader John Sampson to bring the marriage equality bill to the floor.

BY Julie Bolcer

August 09 2010 1:55 PM ET

New York City council speaker Christine Quinn said she wants to hear New York state senate majority leader John Sampson commit to bring the marriage equality bill to the floor for another vote as quickly as possible.

Quinn, who is gay, appeared on the Capitol Tonight program about state politics Friday, when she was asked her thoughts on the Democratic senate leader’s refusal to commit to a vote timeline. Sampson, who leads an imperiled 32-30 majority in the senate, came under fire from the Stonewall Democratic Club this weekend for his support of antigay incumbent Democrats and his hesitancy about the marriage equality bill.

The speaker said, “As a member of the LGBT community in New York, I want to hear that it’s going, that the bill is going to the floor and that it’s going to happen as soon as possible. And I understand why Senator Sampson might not want to say that, I really do, from the perspective of being as a legislative leader myself. But I want to hear that, and I also think that in this case it would be strategically helpful to the overall efforts to move the bill forward, which I know Senator Sampson wants to do.”

During a rocky brunch meeting in Brooklyn on Saturday, Sampson insisted that his support for the reelection campaigns of state senators Shirley Huntley and Ruben Diaz Sr., who both voted against the marriage equality bill, was not inconsistent with efforts to pass the measure. He suggested that he could change some of his colleagues’ minds through dialogue, but he refused to promise to bring the bill to the floor for a vote in 2011.

Quinn lobbied state lawmakers intensely for the marriage equality bill, which failed the senate by a vote of 38-24 last December.

Watch the interview from Capitol Tonight. 

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