Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born.
The marriage bill, whose fate was uncertain until moments before the vote, was approved 33 to 29 in a packed but hushed Senate chamber. Four members of the Republican majority joined all but one Democrat in the Senate in supporting the measure after an intense and emotional campaign aimed at the handful of lawmakers wrestling with a decision that divided their friends, their constituents and sometimes their own homes.
With his position still undeclared, Senator Mark J. Grisanti, a Republican from Buffalo who had sought office promising to oppose same-sex marriage, told his colleagues he had agonized for months before concluding he had been wrong.
“I apologize for those who feel offended,” Mr. Grisanti said, adding, “I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is the same rights that I have with my wife.” [snip] (Click here to read the rest.)
Thank you, Senator Grisanti, for truly getting it and articulating the core of the issue so well. That is the bottom line - all citizens deserve the same rights under the law. Anything else is discriminatory.
I certainly understand that some people have religious objections to same sex marriage. Nonetheless, in terms of a civil institution, all citizens should have the same opportunities, same rights, and the same benefits.
Obviously, there is a long way to go - there are still 44 states in which all people do not have the same rights and benefits. It is slow going, to be sure, and will take time. But one can hope that someday, the law of the land will apply to every citizen equally.
But for now, for today, it is time to celebrate:
Copyright © 2011 by Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy