NY Republicans Not Sold on Gay Marriage Support; Introduce New Ban

New York Republicans introduced a "Defense of Marriage" bill in the Senate Thursday to stop the state from recognizing gay marriages performed in other states.

The bill, introduced two days after New York City offered financial support to gay marriage supporters, was likely meant to send a message that GOP support for traditional marriage could not be bought or sold.

The bill, introduced by state Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn), proposes that the state abolish a 2008 executive order, signed by then-Gov. David Paterson, forcing state agencies to recognize gay weddings performed in other states.

Golden said of the bill, "I am sending the message that there is some normalcy in this great state when it comes to the principled idea that marriage is between a man and a woman."

Though reportedly introduced quietly, the measure is a loud rebuke to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's efforts to make the state number seven on the list of states and metro centers that allow same-sex couples to wed.

In a Tuesday visit to the state legislature, Bloomberg lobbied Senate Republicans to consider their re-election campaigns and get on "the right side of history," by changing their votes to support gay marriage in the state.

"The longer the Senate obstructs marriage equality," he said, "the heavier the price they will pay not only in the history books, but at the polls."

However, a Siena College poll, released Thursday, shows that support for legalizing same-sex marriage in New York has fallen slightly – from 58 percent in favor of gay marriage in the state to now 54 percent – in the last month.

The New York mayor also offered to financially support the re-election campaigns of Senate Republicans who agreed to support gay marriage legislation, according to The New York Times.

While Bloomberg was greeted with openness and optimism, the Thursday bill shows that some Republicans are still prepared to hold their ground on traditional marriage.

Currently six jurisdictions – that of Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Washington, D.C. – allow same-sex couples to be joined in marriage.

The New York state tried unsuccessfully to legalize same-sex marriage in 2009. The bill was soundly defeated in the then-Democratically control Senate by a 38-24 vote.

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