New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and openly gay New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn were in Albany on Tuesday, and lobbied Republican State Senators pass a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.
“The longer the Senate obstructs marriage equality, the heavier the price they will pay, not only in the history books but at the polls,” said Bloomberg, at a press conference with Quinn.
Bloomberg pledged his support to any GOP state senator who votes in favor of a gay marriage bill.
The billionaire mayor has been a major bankroller of Senate Republicans in the past — he donated $900,000 to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee in the fall of 2010.
He declined to say what might happen to senators who vote no, or what he would do if no vote is taken on the bill. Bloomberg said the Senate should take another vote (the bill failed in 2009 by a 38-24 vote) because “I think the public has a right to know where their legislators stand.
Bloomberg is advocating for an “up or down” vote that would put Senators on record.
“The public has a right to know where their legislators stand,” said Bloomberg, and said private “pronouncements” or off the record commitments aren’t “appropriate.”
There are now 26 publicly committed “yes” votes on the issue in the Senate, short of the 32 needed. No bill is pending, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) does not want to introduce one until enough “yes” votes are secured.