New York governor Eliot Spitzer takes his place in history as the first to introduce legislation to open marriage to gays and lesbians. (365gay):

Attorneys for the governor arrived at the legislature shortly after 8:00 am and filed the bill in the Assembly at the office of Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) and then in the Senate at the office of Majority Leader Senate Joseph L. Bruno (R).

…”Today is a watershed moment,” said Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle.

But how far the bill will advance this session is unknown. Most political observers believe it has little chance of passage. Even Pride Agenda believes attaining passage will be a long struggle.

The organization says it can count on votes from 61 of the Assembly’s 150 members and 18 of the 62 senators. Still that is up from 35 Assemblymembers and 14 Senators last fall, and an indication Pride Agenda believes that the tide is turning in their favor.

Lambda Legal on today’s development:

“We expect the Legislature to give the marriage bill the full attention and serious deliberation it deserves. Over the course of our lawsuit on behalf of same-sex couples in New York who sought to marry, we met heterosexual New Yorkers throughout the state who were moved by our clients’ experiences and came to see that it is only fair that loving, committed same-sex couples have the same opportunity to marry as others enjoy. All but one of the jurisdictions that border our state recognize and protect relationships between same-sex couples. It is high time that New York value all families who choose to call New York home by passing this bill.

Lambda Legal also notes that a March poll conducted by Global Research Group on behalf of ESPA, 53% of New Yorkers support marriage for same-sex couples in New York.

Over at the Empire State Pride Agenda’s blog, Josh Meltzer provides this useful information:

See a scorecard of where NY State Senators and Assemblymembers stand on marriage here.
See a timeline of building support for marriage in the Assembly here.
Send a “thank you” to Gov. Spitzer for introducing the marriage bill here.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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