NY State’s failure to pass marriage equality last year was a step backwards that highlighted the prevalence of politics over progress. Specifically, it showed that politicians prioritize their own re-election over voting for progress by expanding civil rights. In terms of maximizing re-election chances, many politicians focus on constituent statistics, whether in the form of quantitative support for marriage equality or perceived support for marriage equality based on a politician’s subject analysis of constituents’ attitudes towards gay people.
With a recent April poll indicating that the majority of voters in NY want marriage equality, the latter form based on subjective perception of constituent attitudes will not suffice as a reason to not vote for marriage equality. An April Siena poll shows that 58% of New Yorkers support marriage for same-sex couples while only 36% oppose it (http://www.capitaltonight.com/2011/04/siena-cuomo-a-rock-star-board-support-for-post-budget-agenda/). This includes almost two-thirds of suburban voters and a majority of upstate and Catholic voters, voters usually perceived as unsupportive of same-sex marriage. The fact that the majority of NY citizens, including those who are usually conservative on gay issues, support marriage equality makes it even more ridiculous that a NY State elected would vote against the legislation this time around. NY State voters clearly know where they stand on this issue: pass marriage equality! With clear voter support, politicians have no reason to not pass marriage equality this time around. One strike was bad, and two strikes are truly enough.
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