Malcolm Smith on Gay Marriage: “We Don’t Have the Votes”


In December, it was reported that Malcolm Smith had scrapped a deal with dissident Democrats to make him majority leader rather than accept state senator Ruben Diaz’ demand that gay marriage leave the senate’s agenda. The Empire State Pride Agenda and other marriage equality advocates praised Smith. But when Smith finally cut a deal with dissidents in January, none of the principals had anything to say about the marriage issue. This Saturday, Smith said at a Human Rights Campaign dinner “we do not have the number of votes at this time needed to pass the marriage equality gender bill this legislative session.” He said he hoped to pass it someday, and asked for the diners’ help (e.g. money) and “prayers.” Tom Duane mysteriously said the situation was still “fluid.”


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