Texas Governor Defends New York's Right to Pass Gay Marriage Law
By Daniel C. Vock, Staff Writer
But the Times-Union of Albany noted that many local officials and other conservatives were still upset with the change. Two clerks in rural towns resigned because of their objections to the new law, and protesters demonstrated in several cities against it.
Still, the change is significant nationally. "The start of same-sex marriage in New York instantly doubled the number of Americans who live in states where gay and lesbian couples can wed," writes The New York Times . "Gay-rights advocates, energized by their victory in New York — the sixth and largest state where it is allowed — are turning their attention next to Maryland, but they face long odds in much of the country, where there are tougher legal and political obstacles."
Indeed, a push to legalize same-sex marriage failed in Maryland this year. But gay rights advocates are hopeful that Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley will build support for the change next year, the way New York Governor Andrew Cuomo did in shepherding a gay marriage law through his state's legislature this year. On Friday, O'Malley vowed to play a more public role in pushing same-sex marriage through the Maryland General Assembly in 2012.
"Gay couples," reports The Baltimore Sun , "said that O'Malley's explicit backing of legislation to allow same-sex marriages — by far the clearest stand taken by a lifelong Roman Catholic who said in 2006 that he believed marriage could only be between a man and a woman — infuses the issue with excitement and leadership."
Perhaps the biggest surprise, though, came from Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Republican who opposes gay marriage. At a meeting with fellow GOP governors in Colorado Friday, the rumored presidential contender said that, as a states' rights advocate, he supported New York's right to wed same-sex couples.
"Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what? That's New York, and that's their business, and that's fine with me," Perry said, according to The Des Moines Register . "That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business."