NYCLU: Failure to Vote on Marriage Bill a Missed Opportunity

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
November 10, 2009 12:00 am

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The New York Civil Liberties Union today expressed disappointment about the State Senate’s failure to vote on legislation to give lesbian and gay couples the ability to marry in New York State.

“The senators missed an opportunity to make history and embrace fairness for all New York families,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “Marriage is a defining civil rights issue of our day, and unfortunately, the State Senate has taken a position of ‘no action’ on it.”

The State Assembly passed the marriage bill in May, and Governor Paterson had pledged his support for it. The bill includes a religious exemption to make clear that it only impacts marriage as a civil institution – clergy will not have to solemnize marriages should the Senate approve the bill.

“The time for our senators to stop the political maneuvering and lay their cards on the table is long overdue,” Lieberman said. “Do they support fairness and protecting families or not?”

Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont and Iowa have legalized marriage for lesbian and gay couples, but New Yorkers remain unable to get married in their home state.

In June, the NYCLU launched, a website featuring a dozen New York couples explaining why the right to get married matters to them.

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