From Jason Shaw
The New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg shot a warning to the New York state lawmakers on Thursday that if they oppose legalizing gay marriage they may be remembered as civil rights obstructionists similar to those who opposed the abolition of slavery and fought against giving women the right to vote.
"The question for every New York state lawmaker is: Do you want to be remembered as a leader on civil rights? Or an obstructionist? On matters of freedom and equality, history has not remembered obstructionists kindly," He said during a speech at Manhattan’s The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He argued that not legalize gay marriage in New York, which he credited as the birthplace of the gay-rights movement, would have economic consequences as well as human ones. "As other states recognize the rights of same-sex couples to marry, we cannot stand by and watch. To do so would be to betray our civic values and history — and it would harm our competitive edge in the global economy," he said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has also been pushing the Legislature of New York to make gay marriage legal, but has said publically that he wouldn’t bring the issue to a vote unless he felt sure it would pass. The mayor argued that the state’s residents deserve to see where their legislators stand, whatever the outcome.
In Albany, same-sex marriage is tightly contested now that those opposed to gay marriage have committed $1.5 million to the effort, matching the supporters’ campaign fund. Senate Republicans, who are key to the effort, also are closely watching polls, which for the first time in months are showing an apparent slight erosion of public support for gay marriage after months of steady gains. Some of the money fighting what really is a case of equality is rumoured to come from internet giant, Google.
State Senator Ruben Diaz, a Democrat from the Bronx, has been arguing against the measure, on Thursday he said that legislators, rather than residents, imposed gay marriage in states where it is legal. "When people have been given the chance to vote, they have rejected it," Diaz claimed.
Bloomberg has lobbied the Republican senators for whom he is has been a major campaign funder. However, so far no senator has publicly said he or she will switch to supporting gay marriage, against Republican party orders.