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Crystal Peoples Walks Out

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.

Sharon Bailey writes about it here.

Here’s an excerpt from Outcome’s story:

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.”


  • Dick Kern

    Having known Crystal Peoples since she was a young ‘reformer’ at Citizen Action, I am disappointed in her coping-out on a historic opportunity to legislatively address a serious longstanding civil rights issue.

    It is particularly sad when black leaders, who especially should appreciate the importance of civil rights activism, not only cop out on the GLBT rights front, but too often militantly oppose the long fought campaign.

    Today’s BfloNews profiles powerful black minister Rev Wm Gillison’s outspoken opposition to gay marriage.
    SEE: http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/buffaloerie/story/674748.html

    It is sadly ironic that “marriage” is a struggling institution in the black community, with frightening numbers of black babies born out of wedlock. And too often it is to teen-aged dropout parents, who are definitely not “abstaining”, as Gillison alleges gay rights are ‘different’ because one can “abstain” from sex, but not from skin color.

    Rev Gillison has served as President of the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Buffalo and Vicinity, Chairman to the Equal Rights Commission of the National Baptist Convention, U. S. A. Inc. That does not deter him from finding new victims whose civil rights are not as important as his.

    I have always been somewhat suspicious of Gillison’s “spirituality” ever since I learned that he moved to a $256,720 brand-new house in Lancaster in 1994, as his typical parishoner is poor & owns neither a house nor a car, but is urged to give generously to the lord.

    Unfortunately the victims of one generation too often become the victimizers of the next.

  • Asking gays and blacks to compete over who is more oppressed means that everyone loses in the end — except the bad guys.

    http://eagercolin.wordpress.com/2009/05/19/gay-marriage-black-churches-and-kyriarchy/

  • WNYmind

    Dick Kern should provide hard statistics for his comments about African Americans. Kern really doesn’t know the facts, he just spews stereotypes. He uses the word “frightening” in an interesting way. It says more about his intent and beliefs than about anything else. He is a typical racist trying to spread fear and hate based on stereotypes.

    As far as same-sex marriage goes. Yes, the state legislature is on an ill-founded tangent to distract us from the real problem in the state (economic, tax, education, etc….). Is same sex marriage a civil right, NO. It is a civil union issues that interested parties should hammer out legislation for.

    If the legislature had guts, they would let the voters decide on this issue. People should show some leadership in this area.