Sen. James Alesi, R-Perinton, Monroe County, this morning said Republicans would benefit politically if they vote in favor of same-sex marriage, predicting that the measure would pass with 35 votes.
Alesi suggested that probably seven Republicans would vote for the bill if it’s taken to the floor. Alesi was the first Republican to announce his support for same-sex marriage yesterday, saying it’s a equal rights issue. Twenty-nine Democrats support the bill, including three who came out in support of it yesterday.
“I look at this intermediate to long term, and I may arouse the ire of some of my fellow Republicans, but intermediate to long term, I think if marriage is passed in New York state I think it will actually help the Republican Party not hurt it,” Alesi said this morning on Fred Dicker’s radio show on Talk-1300 AM.
Alesi continued that, “In my view, if we don’t pass this, and again this is New York state, that will energize the opposition against the Republican Party and it will in many people’s minds, it will verify what I think is myth, that the Democrats stand for equal rights and the Republicans don’t.”
Alesi said he’s hopeful that the measure will be brought to a vote by Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Skelos indicated yesterday it may happen, but the Senate Republican conference did not discuss the issue in conference today.