Pride in New York: How the Empire State Celebrated After Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage
Gay Pride weekend kicked off on the right foot in New York Friday night, when the Republican-led state legislature voted to legalize same-sex marriage. Here's a round-up of the actions, cheers and love that went down this weekend.
At Sunday's Pride Parade, perhaps no one man was more celebrated than Governor Andrew Cuomo, who by all accounts used his immense influence to push the bill through. "It's just a good day for New Yorkers. It really is," Cuomo said. "The outpouring of support. So many people are proud of being New Yorkers today. I think New York sent a message to the nation and I think it is going to resonate and we are going to see real progress. The legacy of New York when it's at its best - New York is the progressive capital of the nation." Mayor Bloomberg showed, too, and City Councilperson Christine Quinn marched in the parade with her girlfriend. Cuomo's partner, Sandra Lee, marched alongside her brother, who is gay. A sign carried by John Polizzi, as spotted by the New York Times, said it all: "Homo for Cuomo 2016."
Big surprise here, but the ultra-conservative governor of neighboring New Jersey appeared on "Meet the Press" to let everyone know his state was not next in line. "I believe marriage is between one man and one woman," he said. "I wouldn't sign a bill like the one that was in New York." Fortunately for his gay constituents, the New York law is such that one doesn't have to be a resident of the state to be legally married there.
Never one to sleep on an opportunity for capital, NYC Mayor Bloomberg announced a new campaign called "NYC I Do," which will encourage out-of-state couples to make the city their marriage destination. As Maddow pointed out Friday night, legalizing same sex marriage is a great boon to state economies -- New York stands to earn nearly $400 million from tax revenues and other income streams. Bloomberg estimated that the city stood to gain millions in tourism dollars.
Over the weekend, same-sex marriage supporter Alec Baldwin tweeted, "Gay marriage? Haven't those people suffered enough?" And surely enough, with the announcement, divorce lawyers started circling like sharks on chum. Still, there were complications -- same-sex divorce is so far unprecedented in New York state, and the Times reported that some attorneys were anticipating complicated outcomes. Bettina Hinden, a Manhattan divorce lawyer, told the NYT that "in coming weeks, were going to be reading and parsing through everything" to figure it out.
In the wake of the Weiner scandal, the brilliant comedic actor poo-pooed his speculated Mayoral run after Bloomberg finally decides he's tired of the dictatorship. But based on Baldwin's tweets, we almost want him to run for the one-liners. Addressing the conservatives who flooded his timeline after he and Steve Martin joked that they'd marry each other on principle, he came up with a hilarious, acerbic witches' spell to "help out" the homophobes:
"....go outside, spit on the ground, shake your right right leg three times, set fire to a photo of George Michael...then holler "Sexarama, Hexarama! Queeriosis, Feariosis!" and if you do that 400,000 times.... All the gay people will disappear.
The question of the hour, of course: same-sex marriage is now legal in six states and Obama's own resident city of Washington DC, so when is he going to do the right thing? The New York Times asked this very question in an Op-Ed on Sunday. "After he took office, it became evident that Republicans intended to portray him as a radical, out-of-touch leftist no matter what he did," wrote the Times. "Supporting same-sex marriage at this point is hardly going to change that drumbeat, and any voter for whom that is a make-or-break issue will probably not be an Obama supporter anyway." Indeed.