Albany, June 1, 2007

Senator Thomas K. Duane (D WFP Manhattan) kicked off Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride month by announcing his introduction, with 18 co-sponsors, of S.5994, which will allow same-sex-couples the right to civilly marry in the State of New York.

"Last month, in an historic move, Governor Spitzer threw his weight behind the fight for same-sex civil marriage by introducing a program bill, sponsored by Assembly Member Daniel OfDonnell, which will grant the LGBT community the fundamental right to civilly marry,h said Senator Duane. "This weekfs introduction of my bill is another step toward passing this disgracefully long overdue legislation.h

Senator Duane praised his 18 co-sponsors of the bill, all of whom are Democrats. They are Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm Smith and Senators Eric Adams, Neil Breslin, Martin Connor, Martin Malave Dilan, Craig Johnson, Liz Krueger, Velmanette Montgomery, Suzi Oppenheimer, Kevin Parker, Bill Perkins, John Sabini, Diane Savino, Eric Schneiderman, Jose Serrano, Toby Stavisky, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Antoine Thompson.

"I am especially proud that a solid majority of my Democratic colleagues have joined me in putting their names behind this legislation," Senator Duane said. "Furthermore, I am confident that many of the ten Democratic Senators who are not co-sponsors will join us in voting for this bill when it comes to the Senate floor."

Senator Duane added, "I vow to keep on fighting until we pass same-sex civil marriage in the State Senate. There are many who say it cannot be done -- that it is too hard. I do not believe that. Since I have been here we have passed other eimpossiblef bills such as comprehensive hate crime legislation and the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act. Those impossibilities became realities -- and so will same-sex civil marriage.h

Senator Duane continued, "The fact that we have a Governor willing to stick his political neck out for the LGBT community, coupled with the fact that 18 of my Senate colleagues were willing to put their names on this bill, shows the tremendous momentum that is growing for this billfs passage. The time has arrived for same-sex civil marriage in New York State.h

Senator Duanefs bill is currently in the Senate Rules Committee.

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