The Advocate: N.Y. Senators Honored for Marriage Vote

Thomas K. Duane

May 04, 2010

The 24 New York state senators who voted in favor of the marriage equality bill last December were collectively honored Friday night at the annual gala of the Long Island GLBT Network. Although the bill failed by a margin of 34-28, the senators in attendance, all Democrats, expressed confidence that a second vote attempt could succeed -- in 2011.

Senators who attended the event in Hauppauge included Tom Duane (pictured), Brian Foley, Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Craig Johnson, and Eric Schneiderman.

The irony of receiving an award in spite of the bill’s failure to pass on the first try was not lost on the legislators.

“It’s kind of like, some people get Noble peace prizes when they’re just starting out,” said Schneiderman, in reference to President Barack Obama. “This is not that, but …”

When the senators accepted the award onstage, they acknowledged the immediate challenge of maintaining Democratic control, let alone increasing their 32-30 lead, in elections this November.

“This is a down payment on a 100%, pro-marriage Long Island senate delegation,” said Sen. Duane, the bill’s openly gay lead sponsor from Manhattan.

Senator Johnson of Nassau County noted a recent victory that increased the number of votes for marriage equality.

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