Hate Crimes Bill Set for Historic Passage in New York Today
GOP Senator Breaks Impasse, Ushers Bill Closer to Law
(ALBANY, NY) – An anti-hate crimes measure has moved closer to a vote in the Republican-controlled New York State Senate, where it now has the support of a majority of Senators. The measure, which has already passed the State Assembly, was championed inside the GOP majority by Senator Roy Goodman (R) of New York City, who also chairs the Manhattan Republican Party.
The news of an imminent vote on the measure, likely to be held this morning, came late yesterday from Goodman and leaders of a coalition of supportive organizations, including the Log Cabin Republicans of New York. The timing of the vote was sooner than previously expected, as Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R), an opponent of the measure, had announced earlier this year that a hate crimes bill would be brought to a vote "before the end of the year."
"Years of hard work have paid off, and the gay and lesbian community of New York owes a lot to Senator Goodman for championing our cause for 25 years and making this vote possible," said James Wagstaff, President of Log Cabin Republicans of New York City. "Senator Goodman is a shining example of a Republican leader of all the people, and we thank him for his leadership and dedication on our community's behalf for so many years."
Republican Governor George Pataki has long supported the passage of a hate crimes measure which includes sexual orientation, and has pledged to sign the bill into law. In addition to Log Cabin Republicans, the Empire State Pride Agenda and the coalition of organizations supporting the bill, it had the strong support of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R-New York City), who lobbied Republicans in Albany in favor of its passage.
"The success of this effort has a lot to do with the fact that gay voters in New York have both parties actively addressing their concerns," said Rich Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans in Washington, D.C. "Behind every success in our movement has been a truly bi-partisan strategy, and every failure can be traced back to a one-party strategy. The passage of this bill will be a tribute both to the state Republican leadership and the bi-partisan gay leadership that joined forces with them."
Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest gay Republican organization, with state and local chapters nationwide and a federal political action committee. The Log Cabin Republicans New York state organization includes chapters in Rochester, New York City and Long Island.