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Flanagan: Gay Marriage ‘No’ Vote Wasn’t an Easy Decision

The state Senator says more support from his peers, letters from the public and the backing from the new governor made sticking to his convictions a little harder.

When state Sen. John Flanagan cast his ‘No’ vote for gay marriage in June, it was the second time he’d done so since 2009. But this time, it wasn’t as easy, the politician said.

A lot of it had to do with support the measure had picked up during the recent legislative session.

“I would say that people overwhelmingly were gracious or sincere and yet they had very strongly held convictions on both sides,” Flanagan said in a phone interview, adding he received a total of 10,000 emails, phone calls or texts leading up to the vote.

On June 24, Flanagan was one of the 29 New York state Senators to vote against the same-sex marriage bill, which passed with 33 votes in support. In 2009, the measure was voted down, 38-24.

“I have always attempted to keep an open mind and be a very good listener and that’s how I try and operate … there were compelling stories that I’ve listened to, gut-wrenching stories about people who have sons or daughters or partners or friends or neighbors who think this is the right thing to do, so you balance all those things,” he said.

Another reason the decision was more difficult, according to Flanagan, was the push from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to support the bill.

“You had a much more active role being played by Gov. Cuomo,” he said. “Gov. Patterson had tried to do this but had not done so as effectively and I think the lobbying effort generally on this was vastly different in terms of what happened two years ago.”

Ranger Sewer June 10, 2012 at 02:34 PM
John Gruber sir: My religon says to "Love thy neighbor" and to be "Kindly Affectioned to one another". Should I then STOP loving my neighbor if they are Gay? No. The nighbor is ANYBODY around you at ANYTIME. YOU are my neighbor and guess what? I will love you, and be KINDLY AFFECTIONED to YOU and ALL YOUR LOVED ONES, whoever they are or their make up . How is my reigion "it just preaches ignorance", as you put it?
John Gruber June 10, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Because many people claim their religious beliefs tell them to look down upon them as inferior humans and to treat them as such. I'm not saying everyone thinks this but too many people use it as an excuse as to why they treat them the way they do, like convincing them god can turn them straight and nonsense like that
Ranger Sewer June 10, 2012 at 03:28 PM
John Gruber Sir: I understand alot better. Thank You Sir.
Dad of Three June 10, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Speaking as a committed and practicing Christian, and father of three, I understand that some people cleave to a religious view that they should let someone else tell them what is truth, and how words should be interpreted. Very few people, and far too few Christians, understand very much about how Scripture was written, and when each part was written, and by whom it was actually written (as opposed to being attributed to "x"), and then how the original words were translated from their original Hebrew or Aramaic or Greek, into other languages, and then retranslated over the millennia. Just imagine the mistranslations that have taken place, and just imagine how fallible humans could have gotten it wrong all along. Far too many people then play proof-texting games, taking a few sections out of context in Scripture, conveniently ignoring those which they don't like, or which manipulative and arrogant pastors, or hierarchy, tell them to compliantly do. For me, and for many mainstream Christians, the key test is "what would Jesus do;" that's not just a trite phrase for someone's bumper. Therefore, we should not condemn all Christianity for the ignorance, or reinforced biases, of some parts of Christianity. A monogamous relationship of two adults, loving others as Jesus taught us to love and care for others, is what is needed. Charity, and Love, must prevail. Godspeed & good luck to all who commit in marriage, & God bless all those who lovingly adopt.
John Gruber June 10, 2012 at 11:00 PM
perfectly put. Religion was meant to guide people not to discriminate between different types of people based on something that we as a society know little about.

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