Crystal Peoples Walks Out
by Geoff Kelly - posted 9:52 am, May 18, 2009
A friend told me Friday that last week Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples walked out on the vote over legalizing same-sex marriage in New York State. Didn’t vote yes or no; didn’t vote at all. Just walked out.
Member of the Assembly Crystal Peoples had voted yes on the bill in 2007. Her position in 2009 in unknown because she did not vote on the issue.
Peoples avoided voting on the same-sex marriage bill by walking out of the Assembly chamber.
A spokesman for Crystal Peoples´ office told Outcome, that Assembly member Peoples does not believe that the bill will pass in the Senate and decided not to vote on the bill in 2009 because of her doubt that it will not even be put for a vote in the Senate. The spokesperson would avoided responding to whether or not Peoples still supports civil rights for her gay and lesbian constituents.
Peoples represents parts of several neighborhoods in Buffalo that have significant gay and lesbian residents.
In 2007, when Peoples voted yes on the bill it was widely known that the Republican controled Senate would not be voting on the bill. This year the Senate Democrats hold the majority by a small margin. Several Senators including Buffalo’s William Stachowski, have indicated that they would vote no if the bill was ever brought to a Senate vote.
Senate Majority leader Malcolm Smith has stated that he would bring the bill to a vote if he was assured that the bill would get the 32 votes needed to ensure passage.
The bills Senate Sponsor Tom Duane of New York City is confident that enough Republicans would support the bill to offset those Democrats who do not support the bill.
In a statement Duane said, “The eyes of the State, and indeed the nation, turn to the New York State Senate in the fight for marriage equality. Today’s vote in the Assembly in favor of same-sex civil marriage once again proved that civil rights can not and will not be denied.”
Duane added, “I am confident that this year my Senate will uphold this fundamental legal principle and vote for my right, our right, to be married this year.”