By Frank James
New York is the latest state to deal a setback to gay-marriage proponents as the state senate voted down legislation that would have legalized gay marriage.
The bill was defeated in a 38 to 24 vote.
As NPR's Robert Smith reported for the network's newscast:
Gay Marriage had already cleared one half of the New York legislature, the state assembly. It had the support of Governor David Paterson.
And a majority of New Yorkers, in a recent poll, approved of legalization.
But gay marriage in New York was held up and eventually defeated by a sharply divided state senate. Although Democrats are in the majority, they lost the support of some of their conservative members. All the Republican state senators voted against the bill.
Gay Marriage is legal in some of the states that border New York -- Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. And activists have been pushing New Jersey to vote on the issue before the end of the year.
But New York state senate leaders wouldn't even allow debate on the gay marriage until now.
An excerpt from a statement of disappointment from the Human Rights Campaign:
"Today's vote is a vote against equal treatment for all New York families," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "The Senate voted to continue to impose tangible, unacceptable harms on same-sex couples and their families. While some couples may be fortunate enough to travel out of state to marry and receive the protections that every family deserves, the current state of New York law leaves many families behind. We thank Senate Majority Leader John Sampson for bringing the bill to the floor so that this injustice could be debated and ended. Unfortunately, many senators did not vote to end discrimination. The senators who voted against marriage equality today are on the wrong side of history, but the history of marriage equality will not end with today's vote. We will not stop fighting until every New York family has equal access to the protections and responsibilities of marriage."
Four states have laws that currently recognize same-sex marriage and where gay couples can receive marriage licenses: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts and Vermont. Gay marriage becomes legal in New Hampshire a few weeks on Jan. 1, 2010.
categories: National News