Squadron on Marriage Equality Bill

Yesterday, NYS Senator Daniel Squadron took to the floor in support of the state’s ultimately failed bill in support of marriage equality.

“It’s such a small bill, just a couple of pages,” he said. “But it’s a very powerful bill.” Squadron goes on to describe his recent marriage, which he described as the “most powerful and moving experience in my life.” In the end, the bill was voted down 38-24.

Squadron sent out this e-mail to his supporters:

Today was capped with a grave disappointment for me, as marriage equality was defeated on the floor of the Senate. I voted, and argued, and fought for passage of the bill. I am deeply disappointed that we did not win marriage equality this afternoon, but I am committed to winning over my colleagues, bringing the bill back to the floor, and expanding equal rights to all New Yorkers.

Share this Story:

, , , , , , , , ,

  • AEB

    The backwardness, moral obtuseness, religious primitiveness, fear of constituency retaliation, and plain old homophobia that defeated the bill is appalling.

    Marriage equality will come–but it must be sooner rather than later.

  • nabeguy


  • bornhere

    I really feel that those who oppose personal freedom and choice based on religious conviction should have enough of that conviction to oppose in silence and pray for those with whom they so deeply disagree. The damage done in the name of righteousness and selfishess is stunning.

  • AEB

    Well said, bornhere. Thank you.

  • Monty

    The religious argument is irrelevant. No law can compel or prohibit a religious official or institution from sanctifying any marriage. Some religions already permit them, some never will. That’s the first amendment. The no votes are saying that same-sex couples cannot receive marriage licenses from the crabby civil servants on the second floor of the municipal building.

  • my2cents

    I appreciate Squadron’s heartfelt sentiments, but I wish he had gone on the attack a little more. he sounded like he was delivering his D’Var Torah rather than a rousing political speech about the critical civil rights issue of our day. I watched the vote live online and was absolutely devastated and ashamed by our politicians in this state. And the fact that a number of people voted No just to stick it to David Paterson – who spent a lot of political capital pushing for a vote on this god bless him – is just reprehensible beyond words. To perpetuate the unjust, bigoted treatment of loving adults merely to score political points on the governor is so repugnant to me that it makes me want to see every encumbent who voted No voted out of office just for that betrayal of human dignity. Sorry for the rant, but this event really did ruin my day yesterday, and I am not even gay.

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    The trouble with Monty’s observation is that, without the blessing of the “crabby civil servants”, a same sex couple can’t enjoy the same benefits as a heterosexual married couple. I think that the ideal solution (though this would, no doubt, face the same political obstacles as the bill that was just defeated) would be to get government out of the marriage business completely. Let any couple, of whatever gender combination, meeting a minimum age requirement, file a form, accompanied by an agreement, declaring a domestic partnership, and thereby be eligible for all the benefits now accruing to a married couple. Such a partnership could be dissolved either in accordance with the provisions of the agreement or, if disputed, in a court proceeding akin to divorce, which would deal with distribution of partnership assets, rights and responsibilities with respect to children, etc. Let the issue of “marriage”, as Monty suggests, be left to religious institutions.

  • AEB

    I believe the wish to be married, as opposed to being “domestic partnershipped” is legitimate–and has to do with the symbolic power of the word, and the force of the institution (for better or worse) over time.

    Besides, why should one part of the population get to be be married, in whatever “venue,” or by whichever hand, and another not?

  • Apostle

    The implications for children in a world of decaying families are profound. A recent article in the Weekly Standard described how the advent of legally sanctioned gay unions in Scandinavian countries has already destroyed the institution of marriage, where half of today’s children are born out of wedlock.

    It is predicted now, based on demographic trends in this country, that more than half of the babies born in the 1990s will spend at least part of their childhood in single-parent homes.

    Social scientists have been surprisingly consistent in warning against this fractured family. If it continues, almost every child will have several “moms” and “dads,” perhaps six or eight “grandparents,” and dozens of half-siblings. It will be a world where little boys and girls are shuffled from pillar to post in an ever-changing pattern of living arrangements-where huge numbers of them will be raised in foster-care homes or living on the street (as millions do in other countries all over the world today). Imagine an environment where nothing is stable and where people think primarily about themselves and their own self-preservation.

    The apostle Paul described a similar society in Romans 1, which addressed the epidemic of homosexuality that was rampant in the ancient world and especially in Rome at that time. He wrote, “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless” (v. 29-31, NIV).

    It appears likely now that the demise of families will accelerate this type of decline dramatically, resulting in a chaotic culture that will be devastating to children.

  • AEB

    Sky-is-falling nonsense, Apostle. How can augmenting the institution of marriage–allowing more people to wed–weaken it?

    You take a benighted moral stand against that which is morally neutral. A gay marriage is in itself no more or less “good” than a straight one.

    Similarly, there is no default sexuality against which others should be measured for right- or wrongness.

  • El Where

    Apostle – if i believed in the myth of heaven and hell i know where you’re headed. I hope you like hot weather.

  • Apostle

    The introduction of legalized gay marriages will lead inexorably to polygamy and other alternatives to one-man, one-woman unions.

    In Utah, polygamist Tom Green, who claims five wives, is citing Lawrence v. Texas as the legal authority for his appeal. This past January, a Salt Lake City civil rights attorney filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of another couple wanting to engage in legal polygamy. Their justification? Lawrence v. Texas.

    The ACLU of Utah has actually suggested that the state will “have to step up to prove that a polygamous relationship is detrimental to society”-as opposed to the polygamists having to prove that plural marriage is not harmful to the culture. Do you see how the game is played? Despite 5,000 years of history, the burden now rests on you and me to prove that polygamy is unhealthy. The ACLU went on to say that the nuclear family “may not be necessarily the best model.” Indeed, Justice Antonin Scalia warned of this likelihood in his statement for the minority in the Lawrence case.10 It took less than six months for his prediction to become reality.

  • Apostle (not)

    Thought it was important to have a different perspective other than the unanimous vote favoring gay marriage here in liberal Brooklyn Heights but the arguments against are so silly, in my liberal opinion, that I can’t keep up the ruse.

    Usually I feel it is important to understand the counter argument without being a typical northeastern liberal elitist who condescends to the opposition conservative philosophy but the fact is, these arguments get more ignorant as you go from 1 thru 10.


  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/theyardie/298366254/ David

    Thank you for exposing Tom Green, sodomy and Utah. If I was ever delivered a pizza with those three toppings, I’d most certainly go bonkos!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/theyardie/298366254/ David

    Apostle (not),
    Thank you for exposing everything Apostle exposed in a less hysterical way. Obviously not everyone has the 3D glasses it takes to read between the lines of “marriage” and find “polygamy”. Damn these liberal numbskulls!

  • AEB

    Let’s be precise, David. It’s ELITIST liberal numbskulls….

  • Cranky

    IIRC it was Chris Rock who said it best…
    “I got no problem with gay marriage. Why shouldn’t they be as miserable as the rest of us”.


  • Monty

    @Claude, I agree. The government should really only grant civil unions to any two consenting adults who want them.

    @Apostle, I’m pretty sure that all of your stated “facts” are actually wrong (see http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/06/are-same-sex-couples-better-parents/). And if you are so worried about fractured families, why not push for a ban on divorce? Or set a statutory limit on the number of grandparents?

  • my2cents

    Cranky, he also said “They can’t be in the military and it’s against the law for gays to be married! I’m like damn who got it better than that?!!”

    But seriously I am so tired of this slippery slope argument. People once said that allowing interracial marriage would lead to polygamy and bestiality. Well? I think we can all agree in hindsight that those people were wrong.
    Apostle, how can you talk about decaying families when you advocate preventing people who want to have families from having them? I bet you oppose adoption by gays too. That will be great for all the street kids you bemoan to be denied a loving home because god forbid they have two mommies or two daddies. Also, last time I checked, our social fabric was a hell of a lot more decayed than those of Scandinavian countries…I think we can learn a thing or two from them.
    Lastly, what is this “rampant” homosexuality you speak of in Rome? Homosexuality has always been equally “epidemic” in every time in history. They only difference has been in how accepted it is by the powers that be. Why? Because people are born that way. You may want to ponder how much of the religious artwork in the Vatican was painted by closeted gays… Probably most of it.

  • lifer

    Diane Savino has a great say in the matter and is totally worth listening to the whole thing. Lays it out very simply to the stubborn/and or ignorant.


  • sue

    “Imagine an environment where nothing is stable and where people think primarily about themselves and their own self-preservation.” I can easily imagine it. See: Mark Sanford to Tiger Woods to Newt Gingrich. All the red state heroes. Who wants to stand in the way of love and stability? I don’t understand and never will.

  • Snoopy

    While I agree with much of the postings above, I need to nitpick with my2cents’ declaration that people are “born that way.” I truly hope that this doesn’t change the course of this thread, but why must everything be so black and white? Why can’t people accept that, while some people are born gay, for others their sexual proclivities are born of their particular social/familial environment. It is clear that both of these are true. These narrow proclamations almost purposely ignore the obvious, leading one and all down the dead-end street of identity politics. Whether one’s homosexuality is “natural” or the product of their social placement (another kind of natural), it certainly doesn’t warrant a denial of an otherwise basic civil right.

  • AEB

    Agree, Snoopy, that people undoubtedly arrive at their sexual orientation via any of a number of things, sometimes in combination.

    The issue is that one’s sexuality isn’t, first and finally, a choice–at least, before the fact of enacting it. One can always decide to be celibate for example–a pity, but one can.

    Such choices, however, don’t change the fact of the sex (or sexes) one is attracted to.

  • my2cents

    Snoopy, I don’t disagree with your comment, actually, and I appreciate the gray area you illuminate. Sadly, many religious conservatives don’t see gender and sexuality as a nuanced continuum, and therefore attempt to label all homosexuality as a deliberate and sinful choice.

  • John Wentling

    How about the libertarian perspective – stop sanctioning government involvement in every aspect of your lives, and gay marriage is a non-issue – except to “religious conservatives” who are simply going by the “Book”. It’s like the Constitution, an all or nothing compact, can’t treat it like a smorgasbord because you happen to be personally uncomfortable with a provision or two.

    Government has no place in regulating marriage, if licenses be required, they should be available to anyone, including gays and polygamists. How many wives did Moses have?

  • AEB

    Well, John, there are some potential marriages–of parents to offspring, for example–that are in fact harmful.

    My position is that government has a role to play in preventing these unions, as it protects citizens in other areas where life and safety, in the largest sense, are concerned.

  • nabeguy

    Whoa, AEB, intra-family marriages? That’s a bit dark and way beyond what this particular issue concerns. John, your interpretation of libertarianism sounds like chaos on steroids. No government in any aspect of our lives? That may have struck a chord in the flint-lock era of early America, but 200+ years hence, it may be a tad difficult to undo. Even Moses had ten laws that he brought to his people, but I haven’t heard anybody call him a socialist.

  • mike

    I think that the libertarian view of this is more a view that the government’s main role should be to protect its citizens, not restrict their right to marry someone of the same sex.

    I understand where the nay side of this argument is coming from (religion), but how can people feel ok with themselves denying others happiness? Who am I, or who are we, to make a judgement call on a relationship that is not harmful to the two consenting adults involved? I hope New York will catch up to Iowa in this respect.

  • AEB

    …because, Mike, one person’s happiness is another person’s threat. Often (usually?), unfortunately.

    Too, if you’ve built your sense of the world and/or yourself around certain dogma, your not going to be too pleased by a challenge to it.