ALBANY — Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born.
The bill was approved on a 33-to-29 vote as 4 Republican state senators joined 29 Democrats in voting for it. . . .
Senate approval was the final hurdle for the legislation, which was strongly supported by Mr. Cuomo. . . . Mr. Cuomo was expected to sign the measure soon, and the law will go into effect 30 days later, meaning that same-sex couples could begin marrying in New York by midsummer. “I am very proud of New York and the statement we made to the nation today,” Mr. Cuomo said. . . .
“New York Republicans,” IYKWIMAITYD.
UPDATE: Merely by looking at the headlines of the reaction, you can see what a blunderheaded disaster this was for the New York GOP, as well as for conservatives everywhere:
- New York Passes Same Sex Marriage Bill: Population Living Under Equality More Than Doubles
- The arc of history bends towards justice in N.Y.
- Historic N.Y. vote is a win for Cuomo, gay rights activists
Look at that last headline, especially. Leaving aside entirely the current issue, are Gov. Cuomo and “gay rights activists” friends of the conservative movement? They are not. So if four Republicans vote to hand a “win” to liberals, what is the net political impact?
The first and most important impact is the utter demoralization of social conservatives in New York. Many people who don’t study these issues overlook the fact that about one-third of New York voters are Catholic. Many Catholics tend to lean leftward on economic issues, yet when social issues like abortion and homosexuality are front and center of the political debate, they will vote Republican — if Republicans clearly articulate a principled conservative position on those issues.
Pro-life voters were almost certainly the margin of victory, for example, in Ann Marie Buerkle’s hard-fought victory in last year’s NY-25 election. Liberals made the mistake of reminding voters that Buerkle had once been an Operation Rescue activist, which had the exact opposite effect from what liberals had intended: That helped energize social conservatives who, until then, had thought of the election chiefly in terms of economic issues.
Republicans who go squishy on social issues do so under the mistaken belief that this somehow helps the GOP reach independent “swing” voters. But that kind of soft-headed thinking is based on a complete misunderstanding of who independent voters actually are.
Independents are not moderates, but rather are prototypical “low-information” voters, and aren’t really much interested in social issues one way or the other.
You know what independent voters truly loathe? Gutless backstabbing unprincipled two-faced flip-floppers.
Which is why John McCain lost in 2008, and why RINOs like Arlen Specter, Dede Scozzafava, Charlie Crist and Mike Castle were always worse enemies to the Republican Party than any outright liberal Democrat could ever be.
The four GOP state senators in New York who voted for this bill have destroyed all hope that the Republican Party can ever make a real comeback in that state. As I said on Twitter last night: “Will the last conservative leaving the NYGOP please turn out the lights?”