June 08, 2009
Marriage in jeopardy in N.Y. Senate switch
Posted by: Chris
Two New York City Democrats defected to the other side in a Senate leadership vote that appears to have swung control of the body over to Republicans. At stake in the switch is a vote on gay marriage legislation which both men are said to oppose:
One source of contention among Democrats recently has been Mr. Smith’s support for same-sex marriage. Senator Rubén Díaz Sr., a Democrat from the Bronx, has been outspoken in his insistence that legislation allowing gay couples to marry not be allowed to come to a vote. Some had speculated he might leave the Democratic Party if Mr. Smith were to allow a vote.
But Mr. Díaz did not join Mr. Espada and Mr. Monserrate in the leadership vote on Monday. It was not immediately clear whether the same-sex marriage legislation played any role in the leadership dispute.
It's ironic that Republicans are trumpeting the changeover as an opportunity to "bring real reform to the Senate" considering that the GOP had controlled the body for four decades until this January, and both the Democratic turncoats are under investigation: Pedro Espada Jr. (R-Bronx) is under scrutiny for his business dealings and Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens) is facing felony charges for assaulting his girlfriend.
(Photos of Espada and Monserrate via the New York Times)
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