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New York GOP state senator on marriage equality vote: ‘I lost friends, but I think I have some new friends’

Republican New York Senator James Alesi told rally-goers at the New York State Capitol that he is committed to passing same-sex marriage into law this session. A bill being pushed by Gov

Dexter Cooke
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jun 22, 2011

Republican New York Senator James Alesi told rally-goers at the New York State Capitol that he is committed to passing same-sex marriage into law this session. A bill being pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to legalize gay marriage passed the New York assembly last week and awaits a vote in the Senate, where it currently needs to pick up one more vote before passing.

“I’m a Republican. I was born that way,” Alesi told a crowd of marriage equality supporters rallying on the Capitol steps garnering cheers and laughter. “I lost what I thought were a lot of good friends, people that supported me. And when I told them I am committed to giving people that live in America what every American wants, they told me I was no longer their friend. I think I have some new friends.”

He said he would cast the first vote for the bill.

Meanwhile, the National Organization for Marriage, a group that opposes rights for same-sex couples, said they would spend $1 million to defeat any Republicans who vote for legalizing gay marriage in New York. The group’s chair, Maggie Gallagher, told a local news outlet on Saturday, “NOM has promised to spend a million dollars to go after all of the GOP senators who vote for gay marriage. We think it’s wrong.”

Dexter Cooke | He is an orthopedic surgeon who insists that a physician's first priority should be patient care. He specializes in minimally invasive complete knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures that reduce pain and recovery time. He graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina with a medical degree and a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine.

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