Statement From Senator Lee M. Zeldin RE: Same Sex Marriage

Lee M. Zeldin

June 24, 2011

“Tonight, the New York State Senate voted 33 to 29 to legalize same sex marriage in New York.  While my position opposing same sex marriage has never wavered, it has been a position that I have often thought about and reflected on. 

It is my belief that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman.  As of tonight, in New York, that definition has changed.  This legislation will have a profound impact on the lives of all New Yorkers.  I voted NO, but despite my opposition, I am grateful for my Senate colleagues that fought so hard to secure important religious exemptions and other necessary changes to the bill.

Over the course of the past several weeks, supporters and opponents of this legislation prayed, protested, sang and lobbied for and against this very significant issue. Throughout this Legislative Session, my office door has been open to all advocates from both sides. I have spoken with them – and more importantly, listened to them – in meetings at my Albany and Hauppauge offices, at public and community events I have attended, and in one-on-one conversations.  These conversations were almost always very positive and cordial.

Supporters and opponents of this legislation were peaceful, passionate participants in this democratic process to redefine marriage. I thank them all for their advocacy."