Politics & Elections

Bloomberg speaks out in support of same-sex marriage

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is warning state lawmakers that if they oppose legalizing gay marriage they may be remembered as civil rights obstructionists.

Mayor Bloomberg Thursday afternoon made his biggest push yet to get gay marriage approved in New York.

In Albany, he's given at least $300,000 to lobby for the effort.

The governor's on his side but it's all up to the state senate where its fate remains uncertain.

"In our democracy, near equality is no equality. Government either treats everyone the same or it doesn't and right now it doesn't," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

The problem facing gay marriage advocates is a well-funded conservative backlash running commercials like this:

"Massachusetts schools teach 2nd graders boys can marry other boys," the commercial says.

Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long has warned republicans they'll lose crucial support if they vote yes on the bill, and its number one opponent now believes the gay marriage movement in New York is in trouble.

"They are running scared. I believe the mayor with all his money they are sending a message that things are not going well. That's what I believe," said Sen. Ruben Diaz, (D) New York.

Watching the mayor's speech Thursday, were his chief policy advisor, his consumer affairs commissioner, and their 8-year-old daughter, Maise.

John Feinblatt and Jonathan Mintz have been a couple for 14 years, but can't get married in New York.

"Maise always asks the question of us, 'Why aren't you married?' I think what the mayor today said is that this country is based on the idea we're all treated equally that's the strength of this country, the strength of New York," said John Feinblatt, Bloomberg's Chief Policy Advisor.

There is some talk a vote might never happen in Albany on gay marriage and that if Governor Andrew Cuomo can't count on the votes the bill will quietly go away.

The mayor today said he hopes that doesn't happen.

"We deserve a vote, not next year or after the 2012 elections, but in this legislative session," Mayor Bloomberg said.

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new york state politics, gay marriage, politics & elections, dave evans
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