Dueling gay marriage rallies draw thousands

Liz Krueger

May 21, 2009

By Duncan Osborne and Paul Schindler

In an event that generously mixed politics and religion, thousands of opponents of marriage equality for same-sex couples rallied outside of the East Side office of Governor David Paterson on Sun., May 17, calling on the State Senate and God to stop the advance of gay marriage in New York.

“The day will come when the hand of God shall use these people to take him out, out, out,” said the Rev. Miguel Rivera, president of the National Coalition of Latino Ministers, referring to Paterson’s political future.

On April 17, Paterson introduced a same-sex marriage bill in the Legislature, followed by a full-throated endorsement in an April 28 speech at an event held in Albany by the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA), the statewide gay lobbying group.

On May 12, the State Assembly passed Paterson’s bill by an 89-52 vote. The bill’s fate now lies with the Senate, where the vote count remains uncertain, though both sides express confidence that they will prevail.

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