Today the New York State Senate voted 38-24 against S4401, “An act to amend the domestic relations law, in relation to the ability to marry.” The bill would have given gay folks the same right I have to get married in New York State, and I very much wanted to see it pass.
I’m disappointed, but not surprised. Neither am I particularly discouraged. A New York Times article today said that “The vote means that the bill, pushed by Gov. David A. Paterson, is effectively dead for the year and destroys the optimism of gay rights advocates.” The Times is dead wrong.
My optimism is not destroyed. Far from it. I’m delighted with those numbers: 38-24. That means that 39% of New York State senators voted for marriage equality. 39% voted yes on a bill that, just ten or twenty years ago, would have been unimaginable. That is breathtaking progress.
Discouraged? No. I’m thrilled.
As a resident of Larchmont I am grateful to Senator Suzi Oppenheimer for voting “Yes” on S4401. Senator Oppenheimer: Thank you. You bolster my faith that I will live to see gay people attain the same legal rights that I take for granted.