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Spitzer to
introduce N.Y. marriage bill

Spitzer to
introduce N.Y. marriage bill

New York governor Eliot Spitzer, fulfilling a campaign pledge, said he will soon introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the state, The New York Times reported.

"We will not ask whether this proposition of legalizing same-sex marriage is popular or unpopular; we will not ask if it's hard or easy; we will simply ask if it's right or wrong," Spitzer, then New York's attorney general, told an Empire State Pride Agenda fund-raiser crowd in October.

The backdrop was a July 2006 ruling by New York's highest court that the state was justified in restricting marriage to heterosexuals.

So far, same-sex marriage bills have not advanced in New York beyond legislative committee. Spitzer did not mention the issue in his State of the State address or in recent remarks outlining his priorities for the legislative session ending June 21, the Times reported.

But his spokeswoman, Christine Anderson, said he would not back away from the issue.

"The governor made a commitment to advance a program bill, and he will fulfill that commitment during this legislative session," Anderson told the Times.

The Times noted that Spitzer may have to spend much of his political capital on other measures he wants passed this year, such as redistricting and campaign-finance reform.

The Pride Agenda's executive director, Alan Van Capelle, told the Times he doesn't think the bill will pass in this session, though the governor's support would add strategic and symbolic weight.

Only Massachusetts now allows same-sex marriage, and it was brought about by the courts. So far, California's legislature is the only one to have voted for marriage equality. That vote, in 2005, was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has vowed to veto a second equality bill now making its way through the California assembly. (Barbara Wilcox, The Advocate)

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