BY Julie Bolcer
November 11 2009 8:00 AM ET
The antigay National Organization for Marriage released a statement
Tuesday threatening to oust any Republican state senator who votes for
marriage equality. NOM issued the threat before senate Democratic
leadership promised to bring the bill to the floor for a long-awaited
vote in 2009.
NOM executive director Brian Brown announced the group would raise $500,000 to fund a primary challenge against any Republican senator who votes for the marriage equality bill. He claimed that support for marriage equality was a key reason that support collapsed for a socially moderate Republican in last week’s upstate congressional race in New York.
"There is no Republican senate district in New York where the majority of people support gay marriage. Maine has made that very clear,” said Brown. "The GOP should learn from Dede Scozzafava's experience: Voting for gay marriage does not pay."
Gov. David Paterson put the marriage equality bill on the special session agenda for Tuesday, but the senate took no action on the measure. Democratic senate leaders later promised to hold a vote sometime in 2009. The bill is expected to require bipartisan support to pass the chamber, where Democrats hold just a 32-30 majority.
Republican senate minority leader Dean Skelos last year released his members to vote their conscience on the bill.
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