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Will same-sex marriage come to New York?

April 14, 2009

By keito

New York governor David Patterson is expected to announce legislation on Thursday, April 16th, that, if voted through by state governing bodies, will permit same-sex marriage in New York State.

Equal marriage rights for same-sex couples is still a divisive topic in New York.  According to a Quinnipiac University poll from June 2008, 53% of New Yorkers supported Gov. Patterson’s initial mandate for same-sex marriage.  A majority, but, of course, just barely over half the population.

“When New York State voters are given three choices on the gay marriage union,” reads, “42 percent say same-sex couples should be allowed to legally marry; 31 percent say these couples should be allowed to form civil unions, but not marry; 21 percent say there should be no legal recognition of same-sex unions.”

Buffalo’s reports that the new legislation will be lacking 32 votes needed to pass through the State Senate, though it passed in the State Assembly last year.

Same-sex marriage legislation was initially proposed by the former governor, Eliot Spitzer, in 2007.  Patterson had remarked, shortly after taking office following Gov. Spitzer’s resignation, that he would consider such a bill, and is well-known and open about his support of equal marriage rights.

The New York Times is also lacking optimism regarding the passing of the legislation in New York, writing in the Times Topics that, while New England remains the leading strong-hold for same-sex marriage equality laws, “at least six states outside New England (Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Washington) have same-sex marriage bills before their legislatures this year, but none are expected to pass.”

Meanwhile, as of 4:12 pm, the WGRZ poll asking whether or not same-sex marriage should be legal in New York has the following result:

780 votes “yes.”

1170 votes “no.”


Partners Task Force – this webpage outlines 99 of the legal rights available to married couples in New York, which are currently unavailable to same-sex couples.  A good source if you want to see the potential legal ramifications of this upcoming legislation proposal.


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