The Log Cabin Republicans of New York State announced Thursday that they have joined New Yorkers United for Marriage, the coalition of groups working to pass a marriage equality bill in the state this season.
A news release from SKD Knickerbocker, the firm overseeing the campaign's media strategy, announced the addition on Thursday morning. The move brings to five the number of groups in the coalition unveiled Wednesday, which also includes the Human Rights Campaign, Empire State Pride Agenda, Freedom to Marry, and Marriage Equality New York.
“Marriage is not a progressive or conservative issue. It’s an issue of equal rights for taxpaying citizens of this state,” said Gregory T. Angelo, chairman of the Log Cabin Republicans of New York State, in the announcement. “For the first time, we are truly united in our fight to ensure every single New Yorker has the right to marry the person he or she loves,” he said.
Coalition members plan to work closely with the popular Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, to pass a bill before the legislative session ends in June. The marriage equality bill failed the state senate by a vote of 38-24 in 2009, but recent polling indicates that 58% of New York voters, a record high, want to see marriage equality passed.
Log Cabin represents the only group among the coalition to be affiliated with a political party, and its presence would be expected to help secure Republican votes. The bill requires bipartisan backing in the closely divided senate, where 26 members, all Democrats, publicly support the bill, leaving it six votes short of the 32 needed to pass.
Meanwhile, opponents of marriage equality, including the powerful Conservative Party of New York, are drawing up their own plans in response to the coalition. Conservative Party chairman Michael Long said his promise not to endorse any Republican who votes for marriage equality still stands.