New York Republican on gay marriage: ‘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. 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.”

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