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Bloomberg takes on equality and long-time GOP Senate President affirms support for marriage

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Couple of developments on the marriage front in New York today. Mayor Bloomberg gave a major address on the subject of marriage equality today:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, declaring that “near equality is no equality” for gay couples, on Thursday delivered an uncharacteristically forceful and sweeping speech in which he called on New York to “lead the American journey forward” by legalizing same-sex marriage this year.

In a speech on an issue that is roiling the State Legislature, Mayor Bloomberg declared that he could “see the pain that the status quo is causing — and I cannot defend it.” And he said that New York, as the birthplace of the gay rights movement, should live up to its reputation as a beacon of freedom and tolerance.

“We are the freest city in the freest country in the world — but freedom is not frozen in time,” he said to a audience in downtown Manhattan.
Now, the important thing here isn't what Bloomberg says. It's what he does with his money. Bloomberg put a lot of money into helping put Republicans back in charge in the State Senate last November. We need some GOP votes. Is he going to keep funding GOP Senators even if they keep the painful status quo, which he cannot defend?

And, speaking of NY's GOP State Senate, for fourteen years, Republican Joe Bruno ran the New York State Senate as its President. During much of that time, Bruno, Speaker Silver and Governor Pataki ruled the Senate and nost of Albany with an iron fist. Yeah, he resigned in disgrace and is enmeshed in an ongoing corruption scandal. And, as we all know, we need GOP Senators to get on board.

Via Capitol Confidential, Bruno shared his support for same-sex marriage on Fred Dicker's radio show. And, Dicker, who also covers Albany for the NY Post, is also a New York institution (see this recent NY Times profile.) That adds to the significance of Bruno's announcement:
Bruno also reiterated his support, now, for legalizing same-sex marriage. As Senate leader, he never brought a bill legalizing gay unions to the floor, but as I reported last week, is now quietly lobbying for its passage this year.

“I support that now. Really, in politics, in life, with legislation, timing is everything,” Bruno said. “It really comes down, in my mind, to equal rights for everyone.”

“I support it, I think the time has come, and I think that people have a right for their own expression,” he continued.

Dicker noted Bruno once referred to homosexuality as an “abnormal lifestyle.”

“I’ve always regretted it because you and others have stuffed it down my throat every chance you got,” Bruno said.
Now if Bloomberg and Bruno could only help get us some GOP votes in the Senate.

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