Shortly after he came into office, Governor Cuomo signaled that he would take up marriage equality as soon as the budget negotiations were done. When that happened, he pledged his full support, and had a staff member oversee the legislative effort, coordinating work between the many disparate and often warring factions of activists involved in 2009’s failed attempt.
But then, the Governor grew quiet.
We were hearing that the governor didn’t seem to be calling any senators about the issue. It seemed like he wouldn’t push for a vote unless he was certain it would pass, and, according to Senator Diane Savino, it’s still far short of certainty.
But today, Cuomo released a video pledging his full support. Saying that “New Yorkers have always been on the right side of history,” Governor Cuomo said that the state has fallen behind. The Governor said that “Marriage equality is the next chapter of our civil rights story” and that it’s “not a question of religion or culture.”
The most telling moment of the video may be, though, when he urges New Yorkers to lobby their senators. Cuomo can’t make the Senate vote the way he may want, and especially with the budget done, he has few horses to trade. Indeed, despite the recent push, Senate staffers tell us they’re hearing very little from opponents to gay marriage, but even less from supporters. If not affecting Senators directly, perhaps Cuomo’s video can affect those too lazy to pick up the phone.