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Roll Call: Marriage Equality

Update: One Democratic holdout, Democrat Carl Kruger of Brooklyn, announces he will support the measure.

Update, June 15, 3:18 p.m.: In a move that will likely turn up the heat on undecided members of the state Senate, the Assembly will vote at 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon on the gay marriage bill.

The Democratic-controlled chamber is expected to pass the bill. The state Senate may vote as early as Thursday on the measure.

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Update, June 13, 6:03 p.m.: According to the New York Times' City Room blog, State Sen. Carl Kruger, D-Brooklyn, announced that he would join two other wavering Democrats in support of a gay marriage bill. 

Kruger voted against the measure when it was last before the state Senate in 2008. He joins state Sen. Joseph Addabbo and Shirley Huntley in Queens in supporting the bill, which backers hope to get a vote on before the regular legislative session ends Friday.

Three Republican senators will have to vote in favor of the measure for the bill to pass the Legislature's upper chamber. The majority Democratically-controlled Assembly has already indicated it would approve the bill. 

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For supporters of legalizing gay marriage, it would seem like an opportune time for New York to join the ranks of five other states and the District of Columbia in recognizing same-sex unions. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, riding a wave of popularity since taking office in January, is a gay marriage supporter. In recent weeks, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has unleashed a vigorous campaign backed by considerable resources to get a bill passed in Albany. And the state Assembly's Democratic majority, having voted to approve marriage equality in 2008, vowed to do so again in 2011. 

So what's the holdup?

As of Thursday night, marriage rights proponents needed the support of five state Senators to ensure passage of a bill in the Legislature's upper chamber. 

With much on the line for those on both sides of the issue — and with the Legislature scheduled to adjourn for summer recess at the end of next week — here are Brooklyn's eight state Senators on the record regarding a possible vote on legalizing gay marriage.

Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, D-18th Senate District
Elected:
1984.
Neighborhoods represented: Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Sunset Park and Park Slope.
If a bill legalizing gay marriage was held in the state Senate today, how would you vote?:
Yes.

"As I said in 2008 when this legislation was also before the NYS Senate, this is not a political issue; it is simple, equitable justice. The right to marry as two people see fit is a fundamental civil right that should be enjoyed by all New York’s citizens. It cannot be limited by legislation. It cannot be denied to any to accommodate the limiting exclusions of others. It is simply the right thing to do. This is what I have always believed, my entire life.

You know you have my unwavering support for this legislation, and we are very close to passing it. I ask that you reach out to all my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, and persuade them of the simple, common sense justice of the cause."

 

Senator Eric Adams, D-20th Senate District
Elected:
2006.
Neighborhoods represented: Flatbush, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Prospect Heights.
If a bill legalizing gay marriage was held in the state Senate today, how would you vote?: Yes.

"I fully support legislation to render all gender-specific language in NYS Domestic Relations Law gender-neutral, thus affording same-sex couples the identical opportunity, the identical freedom, to contract civil marriages in the same way as opposite-sex couples do currently. 

I believe that no legal status, no rights, no benefits, no privileges, and no protections relating to marriage should differ based upon the gender of the parties involved.   

The unfairness inherent in depriving same-sex couples of this fundamental justice undermines the stability of family relationships, creates in every sense a second-class citizenry, and weakens our society.  I will vote in favor of a gay marriage bill because I believe that gay couples desire exactly the same type of committed relationship as do straight couples, and that relationship, marriage, is a basic human right."

 

Sen. Martin Golden, R-22nd Senate District
Elected:
2002.
Neighborhoods represented:
Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Gerritsen Beach, Borough Park.
If a bill legalizing gay marriage was held in the state Senate today, how would you vote?:
No. 

"The issue of marriage equality is one that is controversial with many points of view. I have a long standing principled position on the issue and remain opposed to the legalization of gay marriage in New York State."

 

Sen. Daniel Squadron, D-25th Senate District
Elected: 2008.
Neighborhoods represented: Carroll Gardens, Greenpoint, Downtown Brooklyn.
If a bill legalizing gay marriage was held in the state Senate today, how would you vote?: Yes.

"It's rare that we have an opportunity to vote on something that has as personal and immediate of an impact on our constituents as marriage equality.  Living up to New York's values means providing equal rights for all. That's why I will fight to win over my undecided colleagues and make sure we get this passed this year."

 

Sen. Martin Malave Dilan, D-17th Senate District
Elected: 2002.
Neighborhoods represented: Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Cypress Hills, City-Line, East New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville.
If a bill legalizing gay marriage was held in the state Senate today, how would you vote?: Yes. 

"I will be voting in favor of marriage equality because this is an issue of basic civil rights."

 

Sen. John Sampson, D-19th Senate District
Elected:
1996.
Neighborhoods represented: Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Brownsville, Canarsie, Spring Creek Towers.
If a bill legalizing gay marriage was held in the state Senate today, how would you vote?: Yes. 

"I fully support marriage equality and will continue to work to this make a realty. I will be working with Senator [Tom] Duane [the chief sponsor of the gay marriage bill] to deliver more votes in the Democratic conference than last time on this issue." 

 

Sen. Kevin Parker, D-21st Senate District
Elected: 2002.
Neighborhoods represented: East Flatbush, Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Borough Park. 
If a bill legalizing gay marriage was held in the state Senate today, how would you vote?: Yes.

"Acting to guarantee Marriage Equality is the right thing to do because without the right to marry, innumerable same-sex couples suffer under the  psychological and economic strain of being deemed unequal before the law."

 

Sen. Carl Kruger, D-27th Senate District
Elected: 1994.
Neighborhoods represented: Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, Midwood
If a bill legalizing gay marriage was held in the state Senate today, how would you vote?: N/A.

Ed. note: Kruger did not return numerous calls for comment on a possible vote on legislation legalizing gay marriage. In 2008, he was one of eight Senate Democrats who voted against the New York Marriage Equality bill.

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