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May 13, 2009 3:40 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Same-sex marriage bill passes State Assembly

May 13, 2009 3:40 PM

The New York State Assembly, with the support of Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. of Sag Harbor, voted in favor of sanctioning same-sex marriage on Tuesday.

The measure passed 89-52 and now moves to the State Senate, which must also pass the bill in order for it to reach the governor’s desk and be signed into law.

A previous same-sex marriage bill passed the Assembly in 2007, that time by an 85-61 vote, but failed to gain traction in the Senate. In 2007, Mr. Thiele voted against same-sex marriage, but earlier this month, he announced he was reversing his position and would co-sponsor the new legislation, becoming the fifth Republican in the Assembly to publicly support same-sex marriage.

The assemblyman said he has long been bothered by his 2007 vote against the marriage equity bill, which he said he opposed, in part, because he had been afraid of a political backlash if he supported it.

Mr. Thiele said Wednesday that even though Governor David Paterson has indicated his support for same-sex marriage, the conventional wisdom is that there are not enough votes in the Senate for the bill to pass there.

It’s unclear whether the Senate will even hold a vote on the same-sex marriage bill, the assemblyman said. “I think the public deserves an up or down vote one way or another.”

New York already recognizes same-sex marriages that were performed in states where it is legal—Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa. Same-sex marriage is slated to become legal in Vermont and Maine in September. California voters overturned same-sex marriage in a ballot proposition in November.

“It’s great to see the Assembly strongly re-affirm its support for marriage equality,” Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese stated in a press release Tuesday. “It’s time for the Senate, which now has pro-equality leadership, to ensure that loving, committed same-sex couples in New York can have the same rights and responsibilities under the law as loving, committed different-sex couples.”

Richard E. Barnes, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference, also released a statement Tuesday.

“The vote in the State Assembly to redefine marriage is not surprising, but it is nevertheless disappointing. Marriage is the fundamental building block of our society. ... Marriage is not simply a mechanism with which to provide people with benefits,” he wrote. “By creating same-sex ‘marriages,’ the state is endorsing the notion that procreation is completely disconnected from marriage and that a nontraditional family structure serves a child as well as a traditional one. We firmly believe that this is terribly misguided.”

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how long before littleplains calls someone a racist or bigot?
By AlwaysLocal (292), southampton on May 13, 09 3:59 PM
To quote Father John Corapi : " God created Adam and Eve , NOT Adam and Steve. " :-)
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on May 13, 09 4:59 PM
I pray this doesn't get passed by the Senate. It will open a door that no one wants. A civil ceremony would help gays get all the benefits they want. Fred ,you cooked your goose this time. I know tons of people who would never vote for you in the next election. Don't let the door hit you on the way out Fred!!!
By bayview (160), Southampton on May 13, 09 5:21 PM
Thank goodness the country is finally moving towards equal rights for all.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on May 13, 09 8:03 PM
This Bill will be defeated in the Senate , hopefully !
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on May 13, 09 8:07 PM
Bayview, I don't know what god you pray to, but mine love's everyone. Even you.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on May 13, 09 8:20 PM
I'm in 11th grade this year.

I assume that i'm the youngest one on this message board (as dangerous as it may be)

It's comforting to know that I will have a long life in the community after you've all died.
By dogfacejones (81), Southampton on May 13, 09 9:17 PM
of old age
By dogfacejones (81), Southampton on May 13, 09 9:18 PM
We're so HAPPY we saved and returned all those PBR cans to get dogface a scholarship to the Ross School. She done us proud!
By we could run this town! (129), wonderful Wainscott on May 13, 09 9:35 PM
Typical of Fred
By MrRight (22), bridgehampton on May 14, 09 12:10 AM
Fred is an incredible man who is doing what he knows is right and makes sense.
By eastendlocal (28), southampton on May 14, 09 7:30 AM
I guess more than anything I am extremely disappointed that in 21st Century America, we still have such backward, knuckle-dragging goons who continue to persecute a contingent of people for no other reason than the hate and darkness in their cold hearts. Per Richard E. Barnes' definition of marriage, all people of non-child-bearing potential should not be allowed to get married, including people with vasectomies, post-menopausal women, etc. And I suppose a child being raised and nurtured in a ...more
By HEJIRANYC (32), Sag Harbor on May 14, 09 9:47 AM
I love the 11th grader! You're right... One day, these folks won't be around anymore... Probably because they might have a relative, or friend of sorts.. Affected by this legislation....
Privateer Matt.. At least you said it yourself.. You're from Weesuck Creek.. Homophobes, scared of their potential....
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on May 14, 09 10:53 AM
As for your sheep marriage.... INS - Shouldn't you be more concerned with our friends south of the border getting married to residents? I think you need to start banning interracial marriage before gay marriage... No? Get your lobbyists straight! Even if they're not!
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on May 14, 09 10:55 AM
To " The Royal 'We' " : I didn't name the creek ! I really should report your post as inappropriate , you snoop dog wanna be.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on May 14, 09 11:04 AM
ugh! what a vile , ignorant comment. I reported it for you.
By EQme (112), East Quogue on May 14, 09 12:19 PM
Let me say how excited I am for all the same-sex couples out there who could really use the benefits their significant other receives. My mother was straight and she married a man who beat the crap out me. Yet, all the gay couples I have met with children have been nothing by wonderful and loving and caring. They let all these illegals marry and pop out kids and stay here legaly and you people are going to complain about LEGAL residents who love each other than some straight married couples?? ...more
By LovedHerTown (132), southampton on May 14, 09 12:59 PM
LovedHerTown, After the first sentence or two I was applauding your post, but then you revealed your true colors by going after "illegals" in a completely inappropriate, arrogant and ignorant manner. You preach tolerance one moment and then practice hatred the next?
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on May 15, 09 8:37 AM
I reported the repulsive comment by The Royal "We", above, twice as being inappropriate. Yet it remains.....this comment section used to be interesting, with feedback that was relevant to the article. However, it has become a place for frustrated and angry people to spew idiotic insults at other readers. This is it for me- sign me off.
By EQme (112), East Quogue on May 15, 09 10:27 AM
You people seriously need to take a chill pill re: The Royal "We" comment. His/her comment was clearly tongue-in-cheek and sought to bring to light the parallels between same-sex marriage and interracial marriage (which was also considered a religious abomination earlier in the 20th Century). He/she is underscoring the fact that opposition to same-sex marriage is tantamount to opposition to interracial marriage. If anything, what I find frankly repulsive is the cliched, tired comparison between ...more
By HEJIRANYC (32), Sag Harbor on May 15, 09 12:39 PM
It's not a comparison, HEJIRANYC.

It's a recognition that once you remove the existing definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman, you open the door to any number of possible permutations that meet the new, looser definition of "a loving relationship". What if three men in a relationship want to get married? If that's what marriage means to THEM, why should the rest of us stand in their way? See?

But that's really not the heart of the matter. The real issue is ...more
By Blackjordan (15), Sag Harbor on May 16, 09 12:16 AM
Go Fred. More people should have your view. It is the right thing to do unless you want to close your eyes to progress.
By laufalot (1), southampton on May 16, 09 11:43 AM
just a question what are you afraid of? gays have been amongst us for many years, to seek proof just spend a weekend in East Hampton. no I'm not gay but you know what they're going to live togther wheather we like it or not, they pay taxes,spend money and drive the same snobsh ways we do, they even talk like us. how ignorant to think we could just wish them away. as the Southampton Chamber of Commerace so abbtly named us C.A.V.E. people...Citizens Against Virtually Everything....think about it then ...more
By typical (63), southampton on May 17, 09 7:59 PM
besides Tim Bishop is a spineless yes man and this is going to pass anyhow
By typical (63), southampton on May 17, 09 8:00 PM
sorry for the typos, was better educated then that..lol
By typical (63), southampton on May 17, 09 8:01 PM
This is typical Fred.first you screw up the Community Preservation Fund then you show support for other side only because you cant stand Linda.Now you fold on the republican and christian values for "gay marriages".I can only hope that this isn't rubbing off on Senator LaValle.It seems you might be switching party lines and if not your stay has been long overdue.Wake up South fork,its time for Fred to go.
By Shout ot loud (20), Southampton on May 18, 09 7:53 AM
Blackjordan, your position is absurd and ignorant. That's just like saying that if you are allowed to marry a morbidly obese woman, then you should also be allowed to marry an elephant or a cow. Sure, three-way marriages for gays should be legal... IF it is also legal for straights. But last time I checked, this sort of arrangement didn't work out too well for the Mormons in Utah. Accordingly, it's not up for discussion, so you really need to give it a rest.

Since you are so obviously ...more
By HEJIRANYC (32), Sag Harbor on May 18, 09 9:18 AM
Marriage is an expression of a couple's love and devotion for each other. It creates family. It doesn't matter who the couple is, this commitment should be honored. Religions may dictate to their members who they will allow to marry, but they should not dictate to all of us. Remember separation of church and state? All loving couples - straight, gay, interfaith, interracial - deserve the legal right to create their families. I happen to be straight, but believe that we all have the same right ...more
By SusieD (115), Southampton on May 18, 09 9:35 AM
Christian values? This is America, not the Vatican. Has anyone else noticed that Catholics and Christians are the least Christ-like people you'll ever meet. There are no exceptions made for race, religion or sexual preferences in "Love thy neighbor"
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on May 18, 09 4:50 PM