Gay marriage in New York

The process is only inching along at this point:

Old-time, backroom politics faced down hundreds of chanting protesters from each side of the highly charged gay marriage debate in New York on Monday as the issue stalled again over whether religious groups could be protected from discrimination charges under a same-sex marriage law.

And Albany’s notoriously entrenched politics won, for now.

After a three-hour conference behind closed doors, while groups from each side waited in a stifling hot hallway, Senate Republicans emerged without comment. A vote within the conference to even move the bill to the floor for final legislative approval was pushed to at least Tuesday as private negotiations continue between Republican Senate leader Dean Skelos and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who made same-sex marriage a major initiative.

This doesn’t mean too much for either side right now. Perhaps there will be language that allows religious individuals to refuse to marry gay couples, but I hope that it is very, very limited. After all, it isn’t like it’s okay for a state-employed notary to refuse marriage to a black couple, so why carve out a difference concerning gay couples? Of course, that is what they’re doing when it comes to private organizations, but they need to be equally careful there.

What I find interesting about this whole thing is the sort of arguments coming from the religious right. Of course we still have all those invalid arguments from religion. Apparently it was never explained to these people that the U.S. government is secular; it, in fact, does not endorse or condemn Christianity. But what we don’t have anymore is the argument that we must – we just MUST! – follow the will of the people. The reason why is obvious:

Support for marriage equality/same-sex marriage/gay marriage is at a new high in New York, according to today’s new Quinnipiac Poll…Voters in the survey backed legalizing marriage between same-sex couples 58-36%, “higher than ever while statistically unchanged from 56-38% April 14.”

Problem, Christians?

New poll on race for Maine governor

A new poll is out on the race for Maine governor.

The Maine Poll, conducted for MaineToday Media by Critical Insights, had 30 percent of likely voters supporting Mitchell, compared to LePage at 29 percent. This represents a significant change in a race where LePage has consistently led polls by 12 or more percentage points. In Critical Insights’ last poll, released Sept. 19, LePage had 38 percent voter support and Mitchell had 25 percent.

The 405 registered voters, all of whom said they were likely to vote in November, were surveyed on Monday. The poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. That means that if the poll were repeated 100 times, in 95 cases the results would be within 4 percentage points of those reported.

Perhaps voters are starting to realize that – aside from his horrible ideas of teaching creationism and giving away college degrees to high school students – Maine probably doesn’t want the Rage of LePage at the helm.

This isn’t California or Florida. Maine prefers rational candidates.