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New York governor to push bill legalizing same-sex marriage

Associated Press / April 15, 2009
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ALBANY, N.Y. - Governor David A. Paterson of New York plans to introduce legislation this week to legalize same-sex marriage, reviving a bill that died in 2007 and still faces strong opposition despite a new Democratic majority in the state Senate.

Paterson, talking to reporters yesterday in Hempstead, N.Y., said "there is clearly a problem" when gays and lesbians in civil unions are denied 1,200 to 1,350 civil protections such as healthcare and pension rights because they are not married.

"The timing was always right. It's just who is willing to take that step, and I am," Paterson said. "I think it is, as other states are showing, the only ethical way to treat people who want to live together in peace under the civil law. So my general feeling about all these issues is the right ethical decision will inevitably be the right political decision."

In radio interviews last week Paterson said he believes it will eventually become law. But polls show legalizing gay marriage remains controversial in New York.

And some gay marriage advocates are worried that bringing the issue up in New York before there is clear support could set back efforts to legalize it.