New York State
senate Democrats may have secured control of their
chamber by bargaining away marriage equality on
Day, when Democrats won a two-seat majority in the
chamber after decades of Republican rule, three conservative
members of the caucus had threatened to defect to the
GOP unless they received more power. But a handshake
deal in New York City apparently gave the holdouts
what they wanted, TheNew York Times reports.
For one, Sen.
Ruben Diaz Sr. of the Bronx, the concessions may have
included postponing a vote on marriage equality until 2010
at the earliest, according to the paper.
New York assembly
member Daniel J. O'Donnell, who is gay and carried
a same-sex marriage bill that passed his chamber in 2007,
told the Times that he expects momentum to continue
for marriage equality regardless of what transpired.
"All civil rights
movements have moments where they move forward, and
moments of perceived setbacks," O'Donnell, who
represents Manhattan, told the paper. "If in fact our
civil rights were bargained away, that's deplorable.
But in the end, I think justice and fairness will
Still, Freedom to
Marry's executive director Evan Wolfson says its
important to remain positive.
"Don't buy into the idea that marriage is
being put on the backburner," he told Advocate.com
"Politicians always float trial balloons. There are
those who want us to surrender and walk away, and
expect less. We've only just begun to fight, and we
can't give up before we've
Alan Van Capelle,
head of Empire State Pride Agenda, said he and his team
were awaiting more details about the deal. "We would
expect that any rumors that marriage equality was
somehow a part of this deal are just that -- rumors,"
Van Capelle said in a statement. But, he cautioned,
"civil rights should never be a bargaining chip in any
political leadership battle, and we would be outraged if the
issue of marriage equality was even part of the
marriage bill has yet to pass New York's