At the Gala With the Gay Community fund-raising event in Manhattan, President Obama was heckled by gay-marriage supporters for his failure to back New York’s same-sex marriage bill. More than 600 gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people paid $1,250 each to attend the event, reports The New York Times, and the President was interrupted on more than one occasion by shouts of “Marriage!”
President Obama acknowledged the shouts and expressed his sympathy:
“And I believed that discrimination because of somebody’s sexual orientation or gender identity ran counter to who we are as a people. It’s a violation of the basic tenets on which this nation was founded. I believe that gay couples deserve the same human rights as every other couple in this country.”
However, stopping short of endorsing gay marriage, President Obama said it was essentially an issue for states to decide. Obama said that he was aware of the New York debate, and explained the seemingly plodding deliberations by the state legislature as democracy at work reports the Times.
Currently, New York's same-sex marriage bill, which would affect inheritance rights of same-sex couples among other rights, is stalled in the state Senate. Democrats are accusing the Republicans of stalling, while Republicans say that they are negotiating details of the bill and expect a vote to come up shortly. Right now, exactly half of the 62-member Senate supports the bill.
As the legislative season is just about over, gay-marriage supporters are hoping New York's same-sex marriage bill is put to a vote soon. Otherwise, the supporters may have to wait several months before they get another chance.
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