Gov. David A. Paterson said Thursday that he would include gay marriage on the agenda of an extraordinary session he is calling for Tuesday, potentially setting up the first vote on the issue in the State Senate and a dramatic floor debate.11/06/09 Huffington Post:
Under current New York law, lesbian and gay couples are denied the basic protections provided to heterosexual couples. In such areas as property ownership, inheritance, health care, hospital visitation, taxation, insurance coverage, child custody, pension benefits and testimonial privileges, married couples have a host of important rights and protections. Denying gays and lesbians access to those benefits - as well as the many responsibilities which come with civil marriage - is a violation of the basic principle of equal protection.