D-Day for Marriage in New York

by Thomas Peters

If the New York Senate decides to vote on the pending gay-marriage bill before recessing for the summer, it will most likely happen today. Proponents of gay marriage really need a win here, having already lost this year in Maryland and Rhode Island — two deep-blue states where Democrats hold the majority.

In New York, as in the two most recent states where gay marriage has failed, we were told well in advance that it was a “done deal.” Once again, that prediction was proven not-quite-right as the New York Conservative Party, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom, and the churches — particularly the Catholic Church under Archbishop Dolan and the black churches — became fully engaged. 

Next, in a stroke of remarkable good luck (some would prefer the term “providence”), NFL star David Tyree has effectively launched a one-celebrity (so far) movement for protecting marriage. Many of you probably saw David Tyree’s game-winning football-crushed-to-helmet catch in Super Bowl 42. Today might turn out to be his most effective Hail Mary completion to date. Last Friday Tyree taped an exclusive interview with the National Organization for Marriage (where I work) which spread like wildfire over the weekend, often by media outlets that believed they were putting his “bigotry” on display for a wider audience. I call it free air time. 

The outcome of the New York vote — if it even happens — still hangs in the balance. But if the state senate adjourns without voting on the bill or votes it down when it is brought up, a coalition of conservatives, people of faith, and one courageous football player will have defeated one of Governor Cuomo’s top priorities, Mayor Bloomberg’s deep pockets, and just about every PSA-taping celebrity in the Empire State who owns a webcam. For gay-marriage supporters, if they fail in New York today, it’s going to feel like a very long summer.

Thomas Peters is the cultural director at the National Organization for Marriage.

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