As momentum continued to build toward the passage of a marriage equality bill on Tuesday, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan took to his website to compare the legislation to the sort of social control more identified with Communist regimes like China and North Korea.
Dolan wrote his piece the morning after three undecided Democrats and one Republican who voted against the bill in 2009 announced on Monday that they would vote yes on the marriage equality bill. Later on Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo submitted his bill with exemptions for religious institutions and a second Republican senator expressed his support.
"Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America - not in China or North Korea," the archbishop wrote. "In those countries, government presumes daily to 'redefine' rights, relationships, values, and natural law. There, communiques from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of 'family' and 'marriage' means."
The bill needs one more vote, which must come from a Republican, to pass the senate. Republican senators will meet in conference Wednesday morning to decide whether to bring the bill to the floor for a vote, possibly on Friday. Majority leader Dean Skelos, who personally opposes the bill, said last year he would recommend the measure receive a vote pending consultation with his members.
The New York State Catholic Conference, the lobbying arm of the Catholic Church in the state, has indicated that it will not support the marriage equality no matter the religious exemptions. Its powerful lobbyists can be expected to lean hard on undecided Republican senators, many of whom are Catholic.
The Democratic-controlled assembly, which has passed the marriage equality bill three times, is expected to do so again once leaders there feel assured of success in the senate.