Close to tears, council speaker urges vote on gay marriage
As the state senate considers whether to vote Tuesday to legalize same sex marriage, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn made an unusually emotional plea for the bill Monday.
Quinn, a Manhattan Democrat who is openly gay, came close to tears when she was asked about the measure at an unrelated news conference.
"This is literally a moment where people can stand up and say that everybody's family matters, that everybody's home is a blessed place and that everybody has the same rights," Quinn, her voice shaking, said in the Red Room at City Hall. "You don't get a lot of times in life when you get to do that, when you get to send a message like that."
The room of reporters and council members and their staffs grew quiet as Quinn spoke, pausing several times to collect her emotions.
Gov. David Paterson, who called the senate into session to consider a series of budget measures, has asked that the marriage bill be voted on and passed. As of Monday, the Democratic leadership was mulling whether to put the bill to a vote. It passed the assembly twice.
With several wavering Democrats and an unknown number of Republicans opposed, prospects are far from certain.
But Quinn, who plans to marry her partner if the law is passed, said the idea has her wondering about where the wedding might be and "picking up cheesy bridal magazines."
Quinn said she felt hopeful but still wary, following the defeat of a similar bill in Maine last week and the continued fits and starts of the New York proposal.
"Now the worst thing in the world is to have your hopes beaten down," she said. "And I urge people, if they think I am not as good as they are, to actually have the courage to say that in front of me and the rest of the New Yorkers who are members of the LGBT community."