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Substantial LGBT Support for Pro-Equality GOP Lawmakers in New York

Substantial LGBT Support for Pro-Equality GOP Lawmakers in New York

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A group of Republican state senators in New York who stepped out in support of marriage equality last summer continues to reap significant campaign contributions from the LGBT community.

The New York Timesreports on the lawmakers, Senators Stephen Saland, Roy McDonald, Mark Grisanti, and James Alesi:

The support for the four senators, whose votes broke ranks with their party, is seen by gay rights leaders as symbolically important for their movement nationally, because in many states same-sex marriage could become law only with support from Republicans, as well as conservative Democrats. Maryland, New Jersey and Washington State are expected to consider same-sex marriage legislation this year.

The four New York Republicans had been threatened with political retribution by the state's Conservative Party, and now face possible challenges from both the left and the right, but same-sex marriage supporters had promised to help them politically if they supported the issue.

"It was essential to send a clear signal around the country that we will support those who support equality, irrespective of party," said Brian Ellner, a senior strategist for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group."We were able to win marriage in New York with a bipartisan coalition of fair-minded elected officials. We need to replicate that if we are to keep winning." (Read the article here.)

National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown, whose group is actively working to unseat the GOP lawmakers, asserted that "all the money in the world isn't going to buy them out of the fact that they're about to lose an election."

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