No news from Albany
now 1:45 p.m. and the New York Times
has no news today from Albany about any decision by the Republican Senate majority to hold a vote on the same-sex “marriage” bill or about any additional Republican senators endorsing the bill and thus providing the 32nd vote needed to pass it. No news is good news. But no news is also not a reason for complacency. For the last week the Republican leaders have been looking for a fig leaf to enable them to pass this bill, and until the legislative session actually ends, we cannot be sure that they won’t succeed in finding one.
Below is a Times story, posted sometime late yesterday, which gives the current lay of the land.
UPDATE: But get this, from the Times article:
The internal politics of the Senate Republican caucus have been complicated this week by the most intense protests to date against same-sex marriage. The demonstrations—throngs clogged the Senate halls on Monday—were countered on Tuesday with a rally of several hundred people supporting same-sex marriage, and the competing protests served to remind Republicans of the risks their party faces from its conservative base if a majority Republican Senate passes same-sex marriage. [Italics added.]
Wow—did you hear about these “most intense protests to date” against the bill and about the “throngs” of anti-homosexual marriage demonstrators in the state capital on Monday? I didn’t. I’ll bet you didn’t even hear about it on Fox. The establishment doesn’t want us to know about the opposition to the bill. In the usual leftist manner (which is adopted by “conservatives” when they join the left), the media have been trying to make us believe that passage of the bill is inevitable
, so that our side would lay down and die. Thus the Times
only reported the vociferous anti-bill demonstrations of Monday after pro-bill counter-demonstrations had occurred on Tuesday.
June 21, 2011
Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 22, 2011 01:49 PM | Send
Senate Republicans Ponder Marriage Vote as Clock Ticks
By DANNY HAKIM
ALBANY—With the legislative clock ticking down to its final hours, the Republicans who control the State Senate still have not decided whether to allow a vote on same-sex marriage.
A vast majority of the 32 Senate Republicans oppose same-sex marriage. But at least a couple of them support the measure, and the Republican caucus is under enormous pressure from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and gay-rights groups to permit a vote on the issue.
Many lawmakers and staff members have said publicly and privately that they believe the issue would probably pass the 62-member Senate if it were put to a vote. There are already 31 declared votes in favor of same-sex marriage—29 of the 30 Democrats, and two of the Republicans—and several Republicans have acknowledged they are undecided.
Republican senators, who say they are trying to operate by consensus, have spent hours discussing their feelings about marriage, and about homosexuality, over the past week. Some of the Republicans are morally opposed to same-sex marriage; some are open to it but concerned about the political implications for themselves and their party; some say they are worried about the repercussions for socially conservative religious organizations; and some argue that the issue should be decided by popular referendum, not legislation.
“Gay marriage is something that the conference still has to make a decision on, and has not done so,” said Senator Thomas W. Libous of Binghamton, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate.
Mr. Libous said he thought the Republican caucus would make a decision on marriage Wednesday morning, because some lawmakers hoped to leave Albany that night. The Senate majority leader, Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, affirmed that point on Tuesday, saying that he expected the legislative session to end Wednesday.
The governor said Tuesday that he believed “the people are entitled to a vote on this issue.”
“It is an important issue, there’s been a lot of discussions, there’s a lot of opinions, there’s a lot of information, there’s been a lot of public demonstrations in this building, and I believe people are entitled to a vote,” he said. “Let the elected officials stand up and say yea or nay. I believe that’s how democracy works, and I believe the state is entitled to a vote on this issue.”
Some Republican senators said they believed the session could continue for a day or two.
“It appears by mid- to later in the week, we’ll be gone, so that’s the time constraints that you’re working up against,” said Senator Joseph A. Griffo, a Republican from Rome, who opposes same-sex marriage.
“There are some who may feel like, should we do this at all; there are some that feel we should do it; there are some that want to vote, regardless of how they’re going to vote,” he added, calling it “an evolving conversation” among his colleagues.
The internal politics of the Senate Republican caucus have been complicated this week by the most intense protests to date against same-sex marriage. The demonstrations—throngs clogged the Senate halls on Monday—were countered on Tuesday with a rally of several hundred people supporting same-sex marriage, and the competing protests served to remind Republicans of the risks their party faces from its conservative base if a majority Republican Senate passes same-sex marriage.
At the same time, Senate Republicans have enjoyed unusually good relations with Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat who has supported significant parts of the Republican Party’s economic agenda, even while intensely lobbying for same-sex marriage.
Republicans would please significant parts of their electoral base if they adjourned without a vote, but there are also potential risks to the party, which would undoubtedly be criticized by some as antidemocratic if it refused to allow an open vote on a high-profile issue. And Republican lawmakers might then have to confront the issue again next year, when all state lawmakers will face voters.
The state’s Conservative Party, which has provided key support to many Republican candidates, staunchly opposes the measure.