Democracy Alive and Well

Gay marriage advocates are upset over the defeat of the same-sex marriage bill last week in the state Senate. No legislation in recent memory has so deeply divided the people of this state.

The bill was voted down 38-24 after passing in the more liberal state Assembly. One of the borough’s first two openly gay councilmen, Daniel Dromm, has already called on the electorate to vote the five senators from Queens who voted against the bill out of office.

Although we understand the disappointment expressed by advocates of this bill, people like City Council Speaker Christine Quinn spoke about wanting to marry her same-sex partner while her parents are still alive, we think it wrong to judge the motives of those voting against the bill.

To suggest the people voting against this bill see gays and lesbians as second-class citizens is not true. Not everyone opposed to gay marriage is a homophobe. In the same way it was not fair for conservatives to label any legislator voting for the right to have an abortion a “baby killer.”

There is legitimate debate over whether legislators going to Albany should vote based on the will of the people who elected them or their conscience. Critics of the vote say some legislators put political expedience and survival over principle. That is likely the case on both sides of this issue.

Hit the Road, Junior

Just days after a Manhattan jury declared it was deadlocked, John Gotti Jr. announced he hopes to move his family to the Florida panhandle or the Carolinas. After four trials ended in a mistrial, Junior was confident the prosecutor for the Southern District of New York would not seek to try him again.

Although every defendant is technically innocent until proven guilty, we do not believe this man is innocent. The riches the Gotti family has enjoyed are the proceeds of organized crime. Junior still stands accused of racketeering and murder.

But enough is enough. The prosecution has spent millions and has nothing to show for it. If Junior and the Gotti clan want to head south, never to return, that is fine with us.

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