|Pro-family activism that makes a difference!|
Your complete Analysis:
How "gay marriage" passed in Republican-controlled NY Senate: Pressure, payoffs, political cowardice, selling out of principles
POSTED: June 28, 2011
It was arguably the biggest sell-out in modern American political history. A group of "pro-family" Republican Senators who already had the power to stop "gay marriage" in New York decided to take the easy route, and simply stepped back and gave in to their opponents.
This is a story about treachery and cowardice in the face of pressure when the most important vote in decades was taking place.
Late Friday night, in its last action of the 2011 legislative session, the Republican-controlled New York State Senate passed Gov. Cuomo's "gay marriage" bill 33-29. Within hours it was signed by the Governor. New Yorkers will now be legally forced to recognize the bizarre concept of men marrying other men.
This wasn't inevitable. On June 15 it had easily passed the Democrat-controlled Assembly 80-63. However, the Senate had been considered a nearly impenetrable obstacle. After all, the Republicans could easily have blocked it without a vote. And the 2011 legislative session was scheduled to end in just a few days, on June 20.
But we knew there was trouble when the only New York State Senator energetically opposing the bill was a Democrat from the South Bronx -- while the Republicans stood around with their hands in their pockets watching it go down.
The Republicans had the power
There are 62 members of the New York Senate - 32 Republicans and 30 Democrats. According to the rules, the majority party can block any bill from coming to the floor. In effect, the Republican Majority Leader, Sen. Dean Skelos, had the power to do that.
But although Skelos said he opposed the bill, he announced that he would personally not block it. Instead he said he'd let the Republicans decide in their caucus what to do. This was ecstatic news to the other side.
After the "gay marriage" bill failed to pass in 2009, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had made it his top priority to pass it this year. For months, as the Governor got ready to file the bill, the homosexual lobby pressured Democrats and Republicans who had opposed it.
As recently as late May all but one of the Senate Democrats had flipped, but there were enough Senators publicly against the bill that "gay marriage" would still go down by at least 4 votes. Cuomo and the homosexual lobby kept the pressure going.
On June 15, the Governor finally officially filed the bill and ran it through the Assembly. By then the informal tally was down to 1 vote in the Senate, and even that was very shaky.
And it turned out that the Republicans had bungled the scheduling of a number of important bills and they were forced to extend the session an extra four days after the June 20 deadline to accommodate that. Skelos made the decision to save the "gay marriage" bill to the end, giving the opposition even more time to apply pressure.
The fatal move
On Friday, June 24, when all the other bills had been dispatched, it was clear to everyone that enough Republicans had defected and that "gay marriage" would surely pass. So when the Republicans caucused late Friday afternoon they knew what would happen if they allowed it to go to the floor. They took a vote and decided to let it go to the floor.
Sure enough, when the floor vote was taken 29 Democrats and 4 Republicans voted 'yes' and it passed. (See final bill text and vote tally HERE.)
This begs the question: If 28 "pro-family" Republicans opposed the bill versus 4 supporting it, why did they vote to let it go to the floor, knowing it would pass? Basically, it was more political treachery and cowardice. They wanted it to look to their constituents like they were opposing "gay marriage," but in fact they were quietly giving in to the Governor, the homosexuals, and the liberal establishment to let the bill be voted on. We posed this observation to a veteran lobbyist in Albany, who unhesitatingly agreed with us.
Unprecedented sleaze during the floor vote
And it got even stranger. At approximately 10 pm Friday night when the bill came to the Senate floor some unprecedented and outrageous things happened. All of it was obviously planned and decided in advance by the Senate leadership: the Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his Democrat counterpart. It included:
After the vote was taken the Governor was on hand to sign it and the homosexual movement began its celebration. And, yes, it made the 11 pm news. Its passage would also be in time for NYC's annual "Gay Pride" events that weekend
How it all happened: Hardcore pressure starting from Governor
As the New York Times reported in its analysis the day after the vote, Governor Anthony Cuomo was the catalyst and leader of this push. He pulled out all the stops. He reportedly put more time into this effort than all the other issues before him combined.
Starting in early April the Governor held weekly strategy meetings with homosexual leaders, lobbyists, and two specially appointed staff people. The Governor himself acted as chief strategist. He considered this his defining issue.
Cuomo raised over $1 million from Republican donors, in addition to the already huge funding coming from the national homosexual movement. They coordinated thousands of targeted calls, postcards, and emails to Senators opposed or on the fence.
Cuomo personally met with individual Republican senators from "moderate" districts and gave them the full court press on the "civil rights" of gay marriage, and allegedly threatened to support their opposition and deny public funds to projects in their districts if they continued to hold out.
A major target was James S. Alesi, a Republican from suburban Rochester . . .
On June 13, Alesi officially announced he was supporting the bill and publicly apologized to the homosexual community for having opposed it.
[Sen. Mark] Grisanti, who said he struggled with the vote because he is Catholic, had been against same-sex marriage when he was elected last year, but changed his mind after an intense lobbying campaign, which included a call from Lady Gaga to her fans to contact him.
And that was just the beginning. In addition:
The State Republican Party was also part of the cave-in. As the Staten Island Real-Time News reported on June 14:
Lanza ended up voting "no" nevertheless.
But mostly it was political pressure from the Governor and the homosexual movement using a lot of money from wealthy Republicans. Ultimately just about every Republican senator in opposition backed down in one way or another.
It was a shameful, pathetic situation. As one veteran observer told us, "Politics outweighed common sense. Their main thought was, 'What will be best for me?'"
The "religious exemption" sideshow
During the final few weeks, especially near the end, there was a lot of serious Senate discussion about "religious exemptions." They seemed to feel a pressing need to add sufficient language to "protect" churches and church businesses in order to make "gay marriage" palatable. Nevertheless, pro-family church groups, including the Catholic Conference, Evangelical Christians, and Orthodox Rabbis, saw right through saw right through that and opposed it on principle.
The one shining star in this battle
Unbelievably, while all the Republicans were caving in it was a self-described liberal Democrat who led the charge in the Senate for traditional marriage -- and was the only visible legislator doing that.
Sen. Ruben Diaz, a South Bronx Democrat is also a Pentecostal Minister and a charismatic and unshakeable man of principle. He refused to back down on what he considered a moral truth. As the "gay marriage" debate heated up in the final week, he led the charge.
On Tuesday, June 22, National Review Online published a scathing article that Sen. Diaz co-wrote with an unlikely ally--the head of the NY Conservative Party:
If the NY Senate Passes Gay Marriage, It's Republicans Who Will Take the Heat
But Sen. Rubin didn't stop there. The following day he brought in 5 busloads of Christians from his district who jammed into the hallway outside of the Senate Chambers as Sen. Rubin led them in an incredible pro-marriage rally of songs and chants. We were there, and could see that made a stunning impression on the legislators inside. (And it completely overwhelmed the homosexual activists who gathered to intimidate any pro-family people who came to lobby.)
Watch this exclusive MassResistance VIDEO of Sen.:
Unfortunately, Sen. Diaz has paid a price for his integrity. As we all know, with the homosexual movement "tolerance" only goes one way. Diaz has recently received several death threats and the police and even the FBI are now involved.
Though overwhelmed, a spirited fight from our side
It's generally estimated that our side was outspent by 100-1 in this battle. The sad truth is that unlike the left (or RINO Republicans) who lavishly fund any left-wing cause such as "gay marriage," there are few conservative millionaires willing to write big checks to fight the homosexual agenda in a state legislature.
But there was some hard battling on our side nevertheless. Over the final week, it's estimated that dozens of ministers and pastors brought nearly a thousand people from Hispanic churches, Evangelical churches, and other Protestant churches across New York to the State House to demonstrate for morality. Most of the time the homosexual activists still outnumbered our side, but occasionally the numbers were on our side.
In the background, National Organization for Marriage did thousands of important robo-calls and other get-out-the-message activities in key districts and also state-wide.
The New York Catholic Conference officially opposed the bill and did some behind-the-scenes lobbying. But there was no public Catholic activist presence at the State House or in public rallies, like there was in Massachusetts.
Several pro-family individual groups lobbied tirelessly in Albany all week. There was a good Tea Party presence. People even came from other states. Maryland activist Robert Braudus spent a day there. Bishop Harry Jackson, the nationally known black minister, came from Washington DC. And of course, MassResistance.
Anthony Falzarano, an ex-gay who runs a well-known ex-gay ministry in Florida, spent most of the week there. At one point there were seven prominent ex-gays lobbying at the same time including Greg Quinlan of PFOX and others.
Unquestionably, there was no shortage of strong pro-family messages getting to the legislators. They heard it loud and clear. The trouble was, most of them had already sold their souls.
Where does New York go from here?
Unlike other states, New York does not have an effective method of a citizens' referendum process which could be used to overturn this. Anything attempted would have to go through the Assembly, which is overwhelmingly liberal and pro-gay marriage.
The thing on everyone's minds now is political retribution for such blatant treachery, cowardice, and selling out of principles by Republicans and certain Democrats. Eventually this may include not only those who voted for the bill, but those who voted in the Republican caucus to let it go to the floor, knowing it would pass.
The Conservative Party has said it will pull its support from those Republicans, which in some districts has been their margin of victory. Other major groups have indicated they will either support their Democrat opponents or run Republican opponents in the primaries.
The National Organization for Marriage has said they will spend over $1 million to defeat turncoat Republicans.
As expected, there were immediate calls for Dean Skelos (at the very least) to resign as Republican Majority Leader, as the primary individual responsible for the bill's passage.
In any case, this is a painful lesson for all of us about trusting "pro-family" politicians -- and a loud wake-up call about the anti-family direction of the Republican Party. We've seen it in Massachusetts and other states over the last few years. We'd all better "get it" before it's too late.