Four Republicans joined with 29 Democrats in the New York Senate to pass this bill, tipping the scales in favor for passage and some opponents of the bill are expressing severe criticism of those four Republicans.
The state assembly approved the marriage bill for the fourth time in as many years last week. A 2009 same-sex marriage vote in the then Democratic-controlled senate failed with only 24 votes.
In defense of those four Republicans, I will point to an argument I made when Obamacare was passed against the majority opinion of Americans with Democratic Senators and Representatives voting for it despite their own constituents pleading with them not to.
An elected officials job is to represent their constituents first and foremost, not their party. They are honor bound, if they have any honor or ethics, to listen to those that elected them and New York is known to be one of the most liberal states in existence with a very large gay and lesbian community.
Unlike the Obamacare Democrats, these four New York Republicans, no matter their personal views, respected the wishes of the majority of their constituents after making sure the religious constituents were also represented in this bill.
Cuomo, the assembly’s majority Democrats and state senate Republicans agreed to the exemptions Friday afternoon. The key sticking point was a clause that throws out the entire bill if any part of it is voided in the courts.
As a side note---
The irony here is that this news which has gay activists cheering and almost every news article written making it clear that it was a "Republican controlled" Senate that passed this bill in the largest state yet to pass a same-sex marriage bill, comes just a week after those very same gay activists tore into their Democratic President (Obama) for changing positions and pretending to confuse civil unions with same-sex marriage.
Gay activists must feel like they are in the Twilight Zone, having to hail the actions of a Republican controlled Senate while ripping into a Democratic President over a gay rights issue.