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New York governor introduces gay marriage bill

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New York Governor David Paterson introduced gay marriage legislation Thursday that would make the state the fifth -- and the highest profile -- to allow same-sex couples to wed.

"I'm introducing a bill to bring marriage equality to the state of New York," Paterson said in an announcement carried live on television.

"We have an honor and a duty to make sure that equality exists for everyone," he said.

However it remained far from certain that the law would overcome opposition in the state legislature. The same bill was rejected in 2007.

Paterson, who is the state's first black governor, compared the issue to the "wrath" of racial, gender and religious discrimination.

"We stand to tell the world that we want equality for everyone. We stand to tell the world that we want marriage equality," he said.

The initiative comes on the heels of similar laws being passed in Vermont last week, and previously in Connecticut, Iowa and Massachusetts.

"We come to this with the wind at our backs," Paterson said, adding that the latest events "give us the feeling that we can be effective."

The National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex weddings, urged New Yorkers to write protest letters to their representatives.

"Now is the time to send a message to New York legislators: In the midst of the biggest economic crisis in generations, now is not the time to be messing with marriage. Get back to work," the organization said on its website.

New York has a substantial and outspoken homosexual community and the state would make a powerful standard bearer on the issue if Paterson's law passes.

There was no immediate indication of when a vote might be taken on the law.

In 2007, the gay marriage bill passed in New York's lower house, but failed in the then-Republican led upper chamber. Democrats now have a slim majority in the upper house, but observers say that may still not be enough.

Gay rights activist Roberta Sklar welcomed Paterson's initiative.

"Now the work of getting all the necessary votes in the state senate begins. Supporters of equality in marriage are ready for this work and with the governor's support we are optimistic," she said.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is running for re-election, gave his strong support.

"It is clear that the tide is turning," he said, standing alongside Paterson.

However, same-sex marriage battles have been close fought even in states eventually giving the green light.

The decision in Vermont last week came only after the Democratic-led assembly dramatically overrode a veto by the Republican governor.

Lawmakers just scraped together the two-thirds majority needed to push through the measure.

California, meanwhile, remains locked in a bitter legal battle between pro- and anti-gay marriage camps.

The Supreme Court in San Francisco legalized gay marriage in a landmark ruling last May, but in November voters passed a change to California's constitution that redefined marriage as a union between a man and woman.

In addition to the four states allowing same-sex marriage, nine others grant some of the legal benefits of marriage to gay couples through civil unions or domestic partnership laws.

A poll released this month by Quinnipiac University found that most voters in New York state oppose formal marriage for homosexuals, although many support allowing some form of legal union.

According to the poll, 41% are in favor, but 19% oppose any legal recognition of gay unions, and 33% say that only civil unions should be allowed.

© Wire reports

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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A poll released this month by Quinnipiac University found that most voters in New York state oppose formal marriage for homosexuals, although many support allowing some form of legal union.

What is the difference really? The name?

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"What is the difference really? The name?"

The religious angle.

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Paterson, who is the state’s first black governor, compared the issue to the “wrath” of racial, gender and religious discrimination.

Always the same emotional blackmail. Will these people ever make it to adulthood?

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Madverts: The religious angle.

What religious angle? The state is not passing a law that makes it obligatory for churches to marry gays. There is no difference between this and a Christian church's opinion on a Shinto wedding: null and void in the eyes of the Lord.

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"What religious angle?"

Y'know, the one's that believe that marriage can only happen twixt man and woman...(and that the earth is flat 'n all that).

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Y'know, the one's that believe that marriage can only happen twixt man and woman...(and that the earth is flat 'n all that).

Well, even though it makes zero sense, you are probably right and this is probably the kind of reasoning those morons are applying. It makes zero sense because if they truly believe, then those people are going to hell anyway. This law hardly changes God's law, and its not like they are being made to endorse it.

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Teleprompter- are you saying that black people in general or black politicians specifically are not adults... Either way getting tired of your suggestive comments.

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formal marriage: full rights guaranteed. legal union: some rights.

I think this matters when it comes down to adoption.

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Well, you know Likeitis....ex-Rev. Ted Haggard is but one perfect example of the latent homosexuals in the US that would deny thouse brave enough to actually be themselves basic human rights.

LostinNagoya,

Adoption is an area I don't support gay activists in the slightest. This is a different topic.

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Madverts: if you don´t support it, this your problem, yours only. I do support.

And if you had read the answers before typing blindly, you would realise I am just replying to the first post.

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Lost,

I didn't mean any offense. I'm merely stating my opinion that homosexuals shouldn't be given the right to adopt children into a gay marriage. Not because they are gay, but for the sake of the child and the misery he/she could endure whilst growing up.

If the child were their's, to a previous marriage however, then I suppose I would support them bringing up their own.

Either way I fail to see how I've typed blindly.

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Arnold had it right when he said a gay marriage should be between a man and a woman. Don't really know how "gay" came to be the term for homosexual in the first place. Having said that, homosexual oriented people still have, and deserve basic human rights, but their term of their being joined together should not be called marriage or be considered matrimony.

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It seems that when one wants to be discriminatory, 'homosexual' is usually used while 'gay' is more accepting. But there's not really a huge amount of difference.

I think that gays should try to achieve full marriage rights just because having less rights sends a statement that somebody DESERVES less rights. It's also a very slippery slope; if you deny gays some rights, where do you stop?

10% of people are gay. Nobody chooses to be gay. Discrimination comes from fear only.

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Good going Gov. Paterson. It's about time that same sex marriages be legalized across the country. < :-)

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Pfft, if they want to pay the fees and deal with the tax forms than more power to them. If they want to file the paper work and the court costs let them adopt, kids could live way more screwed up lives with one of each anyway (never heard of a gay couple slaughtering their adopted children). It's just people pursuing the life they want to live, the U.S constitution guarantees this within the scope of legality and I don't remember anything in the constitution stating that they can't.

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Marriage isn't a right. "Gays" have exactly the same rights as everybody else. Changing the definition of marriage to accomodate perversion does not give anyone "marriage"; it just destroys the social basis of it. It will be a cold day in hell before I have anything to do with this travesty. "Gay" families - psychotic!

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the U.S constitution guarantees this within the scope of legality and I don't remember anything in the constitution stating that they can't.

I was recently talking about this with a friend who is a libertarian and he says the gay marriage issue is one way of telling who is a true libertarian and who just claim they are libertarian. In that if you truly believe in personal liberty, then there should be no reason that you should find something wrong about gays getting married.

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"Changing the definition of marriage to accomodate perversion"

I thought calling homosexuality "perversion" was a no-no these days. There are plenty of married hetro couples that get up to all kinds of freaky stuff, yet you're prepared to accomadate them simply because they aren't attracted to the same sex?

Strange.

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I am against gay marriage. Not for all the various reasons discussed and debated but because the legal status is not universally recognized, even within the country, much less foreign countries.

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Dubya:

Marriage isn't a right. "Gays" have exactly the same rights as everybody else. Changing the definition of marriage to accomodate perversion does not give anyone "marriage"; it just destroys the social basis of it. It will be a cold day in hell before I have anything to do with this travesty. "Gay" families - psychotic!

Dubya, you don't need gays to destroy the social basis of it. Just look at all the wife beaters, the serial brides like Elizabeth Taylor who make weddings as simple as shopping, those who are forever having affairs while still being married, those who marry for the visas. Now, why don't people bash these heterosexuals? Frankly, there is NOTHING left to destroy.

You don't have to play any part in this travesty! Just don't marry a gay.

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Good_Jorb

In that if you truly believe in personal liberty, then there should be no reason that you should find something wrong about gays getting married.

That's the problem. The conservatives believe in the personal liberties that they see fit. If you're for real personal liberties, then you're either a sicko, a pedaphile or any number of other names they can dream up.

Then there is always the gays are pedaphiles and incestual. That's not what I see in the news. And if there were gays caught, charged and found guilty.....you'd sure hear about it.

Gov. Paterson has clearer vision than a lot of people. < :-)

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It will be a cold day in hell before I have anything to do with this travesty.

you don't have to have anything to do with it. in fact it has nothing to do with you so you can stop beating your chest or thumping your bible about it.

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OssanAmerica at 12:24 AM JST - 18th April

I am against gay marriage.

There were people who were against women voting and equal right for blacks and all colors.

You'll get over it. Just like those who were against the above items. Or eventually those dinasours will just die off and be forgotten. < :-)

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Paulie,

Whatever he does, the fundie American right are apparently able to "cure" themselves from sexual deviance:

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_5164921

Denial just seems an addiction with these people.

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Originally the idea of marriage was a religious one. The government started licensing marriage for the reasons the government gets into anybody's business: to tax and control people.

As far as I'm concerned if you can find a church to marry you go for it. As far as the state is concerned: the state isn't supposed to have it's nose in anybody's religion.

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There were people who were against women voting and equal right for blacks and all colors.

There still are, many in places you wouldn't expect. But they have the right to express those opinions so long as they don't break any laws. I'm not for or against a lot of things. As it stands women and minorities can vote, acceptable. Gays can marry in several states which may include New York, acceptable. I find nothing illegal and refuse to apply subjective morality to the issue for my ethics are my own and not aplicable to every persons situation.

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I am against gay marriage. There were people who were against women voting and equal right for >blacks and all colors. You'll get over it. Just like those who were against the above items. Or >eventually those dinasours will just die off and be forgotten. < :-)

I guess the point of my statement went over your head. Racial equality and Women's Rights were adopted all over the developed world in such a way that the legality accross borders didn't become an issue. The apartheid policies of South Africa stands as an exception. Same-Sex Marriages are not in the same category as they are not being adopted on a global basis at the same speed resulting in a legal incongruence that merely puts a hardship on society.Even within the United States the Federal Govt does not recognize a same-sex marriage that is accepted in some states. Go ahead and list your same-sex spouse on a Federal Tax Return as a dependent and see what happens. How about an Alien who legally marries his "partner" in a State that recognizes same-sex marriages and then files a petition for Permanent Residency based on marriage? See what happens because US Immigration doesn't recognize it. The world is constantly changing and in order effect changes alot of effort is required in order to make thopse changes work. It's not as first-grade as "you'll get over it".

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Does anyone know when voting on this issue is going to take place? This is gonna be a historical event no matter which way it goes.

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I know from experience that some people don't like the fact that the fight for gay marriage is often seen as the second civil rights movement. Want to get an old southern Black person pissed off really fast? Well, this is the way to do it. I guess it can be explained as the difference between who you are and what you are.

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This fight has every thing to do with the religious far rights belief that they know what is best for everyone. The fact is that they are scared of the thought that marriage will be anything than a conservative thing. That is why they always toss in,"What is next humans getting married to animals". They use this term to make the though of marriage between the same sex as immoral.

But the fact is that people really do not care. This issue is one that should be left to the people rather than the government and the states. If a person loves and wishes to spend the rest of their life with another person, then they should be allowed to marry.

But the religious right has this insane idea that marriage is only between a man and a woman. I have known many gay couples that have been together for many years and love each other deeply. Who should stop them if they want to complete their bond by marrying each other?

I find it sad that the land of the free and the home of the brave can not move forward away from bigotry and accept the fact that people are different. Difference is what makes America a great place.

But for many years now the far right has been harping this anti-gay assault on the people and now the tide has turned. I for one do believe that this struggle is a struggle for freedom for many people. I for one hope that gay marriage will one day be accepted by all Americans.

But this struggle will not end soon and I just hope that the far right hate fuelers will not drive some nut to kill. But the way this is heading it is only a matter of time before some far right not kills.

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How can "gays" marry a member of the same sex when they can never consummate the marriage?

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they can

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ca1ic0cat: Originally the idea of marriage was a religious one.

You cannot prove that, so you should not present it like its fact. I am inclined to believe that marriage began as less of an idea and more of a natural state of affairs in the female mind. Then I would say it became a matter of society and government far earlier than religion. Primitive societies don't seem to always link religion and marriage, yet marriage seems to be pretty universally present.

As far as I am concerned, if two people say they are married, they are. Government permission should not be necessary. The government should just recognize the will of the people and shut up. Same for all the naysayers. Marriage is not going to grant them some super rights that is going to change the world. What do they get? Joint taxes, right to alimony, car insurance discount, hospital visitation rights, etc. Big freaking whoopdeedoo.

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