New York Is for Lovers

BY Advocate Contributors

February 08 2011 4:00 AM ET

 Republican senate majority leader Dean Skelos, who opposes marriage equality, said during the campaign that he would nevertheless allow a vote on such legislation, thereby putting an end to the long-held notion that only Democrats could offer a path to victory in the state.

“As ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal proved, both political parties can come together to do what’s right. We’ll make that clear in New York as well,” says Brian Ellner, senior strategist for HRC, which is producing a celebrity video series to raise awareness of the issue among voters. “Not only will we feature prominent Republican voices as part of our New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign, we’ll also activate voters in key swing districts to show that fairness doesn’t have a partisan divide.”

However, with 32 votes required to pass a bill, advocates have yet to reach the winning formula. Currently 26 senators are pro-marriage equality, meaning a few more Democrats and a handful of Republicans are still needed. But with the recent demonstration of gay realpolitik and polls showing voters favor marriage equality, in 2011 advocates feel closer than ever to a win.

“It really comes down to a handful more votes,” says Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry. “It’s about nailing them down while we create the climate that reminds legislators that a solid majority of New Yorkers support this, particularly in these tough economic times.”





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