Maggie Gallagher and the National Organization for Marriage have had only one mission since 1997 and that is trying to protect the sanctity of marriage in all 50 states. With only a few exceptions, they have been quite successful so far.
The upcoming vote on same-sex marriage in the New York Senate may be their toughest fight yet.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have been strong-arming the Senate Republican leadership, including a handful of Senators to bring this issue to a vote and more importantly, give Gov. Cuomo one of his biggest victories this year.
“It’s pretty clear the Republican majority in the Senate recognizes they have a real problem,” said Gallagher, NOM’s chairman and co-founder. “I don’t understand why Senate Republicans need to carry the Governor’s water – especially when they have nothing to gain.”
Opponents of same-sex marriage recognize the debate is moving in two different directions – state legislatures and the courts. Several midwestern and southern states have already amended their constitutions to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
The strategy for same-sex marriage proponents is just as simple. They are taking their fight to what are commonly known as “blue” states, or those that lean democratic to push for homosexual marriage. The majority of these states are located in the Northeast and on the West Coast. In addition, they are celebrating over several recent court decisions coming out of California.
Gallagher said the issue of same-sex marriage is a low priority for most New Yorkers. She feels the legislature should be focusing on property tax relief and rent regulation – two issues she believes are more important to the majority of citizens.
“The only ones pushing the Senate vote are homosexual advocates or those who have something to gain from it – notably Michael Bloomberg and Andrew Cuomo,” said Gallagher. “If the legislature really wanted to know where the people stood on same-sex marriage, they should put it to a vote of the people. That way they can get back to working on more pressing issues.”