New York Republican State Senator Jim Alesi got a warm reception at a marriage equality rally in Albany today. The recent convert to the “full equality now” camp explained he’d lost some friends over his decision to support marriage equality. This was met with a scattering of boos and disapproval.
He went on to say he thought he’d made some new ones. His suspicions were confirmed by a loud roar of cheering agreement. (New friends, like Marriage Equality New York’s Ron Zacchi, pictured above.)About 500 people showed for the Rally For Love and Marriage. Really, not too bad at all as it was announced last night.
Alesi had been tip-toeing out of the GOP closet with his support for some time. As an undecided he attended the Empire State Pride Agenda dinner, but told folks not to read too much into that. Today he was timid no more. He said:
“Passing marriage equality is, I think, the most important thing I could do in my twenty years as a legislator.”
New York magazine has some reporting on Alesi’s barn burner speech. He affirmed his party affiliation but offered he was “born this way.”
“I am proud to be a Republican,” he noted. “I am also proud to be the first Republican voter to vote for marriage equality in this state, and to lead off what I hope will be a succession of more than just enough votes.”
They say there’s no convert like a new convert and Alesi sounds committed:
“I will feel free to go to bed at night and travel around not just New York State but the entire country … to say we passed marriage equality in New York State, and we will pass marriage equality in America.”
A vote on this issue looks unlikely today. New York City Council Speaker told supporters on Monday to expect it Wednesday or Thursday.
Multiple speakers urged everyone to call their Senator and urge them to vote soon and vote yes.
Contact information for the New York state senate is here. After hour voicemails count.
Our friends at Democracy For America have issued this call to action, to ask Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos to place the bill on the floor for a vote.
Let them vote Leader Skelos.