State Sen. Thomas Morahan, R-New City, has been one of the senators who has been “undecided” on the pending gay marriage legislation in Albany.
Not anymore. “I’m going to vote against, it,” he said today as we discussed the Senate standoff and other Albany issues. He figured that the governor was going to continue to push the Senate to vote on a gay marriage bill, so he would go on the record.
“I understand both sides,” he said. “I prefer civil union, as opposed to traditional marriage.”
He said he’s been listening to his constituents (all of Rockland, parts of Orange County) who he believes are split on the issue. He also says he doesn’t know if there are enough votes in the Senate to pass a gay marriage bill.
“Maybe I’m a traditionalist,” he said. “I know my community is divided. If you can accommodate both sides, why not do that?”
He explained that he understands and empathizes with the arguments about “inheritance rights, spousal rights,” and believes that civil unions will accomplish those goals of equal rights for same-sex partners.
I asked him, is that why he got married, for spousal rights?
“I fell in love,” was Morahan’s response.
And isn’t that also why people in same-sex relationships want to be married? He acknowledged that that was any couple’s goal in getting married “because we love somebody. But there are practical things.” He wants to ensure a same-sex partner gets health insurance, can visit his or her partner in the hospital. Those are the practical aspects of marriage “that come after you fall in love” but are very important, and achieved through a civil union, he said.
“We can accommodate … but at the same time, I don’t want to fracture the other side … Is it splitting the baby in half? Maybe.”