By Roger Stone

Paterson bill in trouble thanks to Dems
The re-taking of the New York Senate by the Democrats ironically makes passage of Governor David Paterson's Gay Marriage Equality bill much less likely and perhaps impossible. Before the recent Senate coup former Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith consistently said he would bring the measure to the Senate floor when the proponents could show him a majority of the vote, a nice way of saying "never." Smith had a deal with Senator Rueben Diaz, Sr., a Pentecostal minister, not to bring the measure to a vote lest Diaz bolt the party and cost them their one vote majority. With at least five Democrats against the same-sex marriage bill, proponents need at least six moderate-to-conservative Republicans to pass the bill. Ironically, Senator Pedro Espada, a bill co-sponsor, could have probably delivered six Republicans as Senate President had the Democrats come back to the Senate Chamber and Espada put the matter up for a vote after the recent senate coup. Instead the Senate dissolved into warring factions. When openly gay Senator Tom Duane (D-NYC), a chief sponsor told the Gay City News last week that he had enough votes to pass the bill, he was either bluffing or uninformed. Duane could have secured the six votes needed by voting with the coalition but put party above marriage equality. Now Rueben Diaz and incoming Senate President John Sampson are blackmailing the Democratic Conference into burying the marriage bill. No Republican is declared for the bill. The well-received endorsement of the bill by former Senate Leader Joe Bruno who passed equality and protection for gays in credit, housing and employment while in power and still widely respected by Republicans, made a good "freedom and equality" argument for the measure giving Republicans cover. The time is now. Gay Activists note - Your beloved Democratic Party has its share of bigots in it too. Only a bi-partisan strategy can bring equality and personal freedom to every American. NOTE: Roger Stone opposed Amendment 2 in Florida, the Gay marriage ban, and Prop 8 in California. He is a Lincoln Republican in the libertarian tradition of Barry Goldwater.