Wednesday, November 11, 2009


So let me get this straight... so to speak.

Barack Obama is just too damn busy to deal with Don't Ask/Don't Tell and DOMA. Was so busy, in fact, that he couldn't even voice an opinion on the referendums in Maine and Washington. Couldn't utter "support" or "oppose," for that matter, because there's just so much to do and he's in constant motion rushing from one economic thing to another military thing to another global warming thing without a single moment to catch his breath, because if he broke his stride the world economy would collapse and Pakistan would nuke Albania and terrorists would attack Six Flags Over Tulsa.

Uh... okay.

Fortunately, the New York State Senate can always be counted on to go one step further.

Challenged by Governor Paterson and the Empire State Pride Agenda to vote up or down on a same-sex marriage bill, many senators are claiming that they shouldn't vote on it at all, because the state economy demands all their attention.

Okay, it's true that the New York State economy sucks, as it does for many states. But it's also true that these 62 men and women are not spending their every waking moment crunching numbers. Quite the contrary.

Hey -- I worked for the state legislature for 14 years. I know how Albany works, and at any given time probably 58 of them are milling aimlessly around the Senate floor like herd animals looking for a patch of grass to chew.

Moreover, how difficult can it be to vote "yes" or "no" on a same-sex marriage bill. Is this a new issue to them? One they had never before thought about? Of course not.

They don't want to vote because they don't want to take a position. Because, for all their occasional bombast, almost every one of them is afraid to not be everything to everyone.

In the New York State Senate, you don't even need to use your voice to vote. You just push a button. Any one of 20 digits -- plus, perhaps, one's chin or nose -- can do the job.

So it's not a matter of time, it's a matter of will.

And, yes, it's a matter of principle. Or lack thereof.

Do the right thing, senators. Vote yes, or vote no. But have the decency to let us know where you stand before this year ends.