Reflections on an Extraordinary Day in Albany
June 24, 2009
Over the past few days I've been in Albany watching what some are starting to call a "circus" play out in the state senate. While the actions of the senate lead some to believe that nothing will ever be passed in Albany, I am confident that once the leadership battle is resolved, we will see marriage equality passed in the New York legislature. For months, a team of organizers, volunteers, and I have been working to gather handwritten letters from constituents, from business owners, and from community leaders in priority districts, all in support of marriage equality. Everything we're hearing is that there is no issue receiving as much positive support as ours. While today didn't bring a vote on the bill, it did bring slightly more clarity to what needs to happen to pass marriage equality in New York. A brief recap... On Tuesday June 23, Governor Paterson called a special session (called an extraordinary session) for 3pm. During that session there were around 55 bills presented and 5 were passed. The session adjourned and a second extraordinary session was called for today, Wednesday June 24 at 3pm. During today's extraordinary session, the Democrats were all present but the Republicans did not attend. During the session, Senator Klein questioned the legality of the extraordinary session held on Tuesday. Apparently, the Governor can call an extraordinary session of just the Senate only if the business to be taken up is business handled only by the senate (as in confirming appointees). However, if the purpose of the session is to pass legislation, then the Governor has to call both the Senate and the Assembly back into session. The Democrats adjourned today's extraordinary session because of the belief that none of the bills, if passed, would have been legal. For the moment, everyone is waiting to see what the Governor and the leadership of both parties will do next. The Governor has publicly committed to seeing a vote on marriage equality, and we should applaud his leadership during this governmental crisis. In the meantime, we must keep the pressure on Albany to get back to work and to pass marriage equality. Everyone in Albany knows that we will not back down. Stay inspired. Keep taking action! Sign up and volunteer!
May 24, 2013