So, what to make of Chuck Schumer’s declaration in favor of gay marriage? It probably doesn’t change much at the functional level, as Ruben Diaz and others hold marriage equality hostage in Albany. But with the states’ Dems bruised by the unresolved state and MTA budgets and other issues, and the Governor’s ratings in free-fall, Schumer can buy some easy goodwill for himself and his party by taking a stand most folks probably thought he’d been taking all along. The Post did get pissy about Kirsten Gillibrand’s alleged “flip flop” in favor of marriage equality last month, but as New York’s preeminent rightwing pub they’re obliged to talk like that, and as Gillibrand is relative newbie on the statewide scene they might have thought they could hurt her with it among the folks back home. Schumer would be harder to hurt. (Of course Paterson hasn’t seemed to benefit much from pandering to the gay community, but he may be beyond hope.) As long as local Republicans are forced by the values-voter legacy of their national party to remain slow runners in the race for gay and gay-friendly votes, Democrats can one-up them on the subject when the times call for it — as they assuredly do now.