THE SENATE STATE OF NEW YORK

THOMAS DUANE SENATOR, 29TH DISTRICT CHAIR: SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH COMMITTEES: CHILDREN & FAMILIES CODES CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME & CORRECTION CULTURAL AFFAIRS, TOURISM, PARKS & RECREATION FINANCE MENTAL HEALTH & DEVELOPMENT DISABILTIES RULES SOCIAL SERVICES

ALBANY

PLEASE RESPOND TO:  322 EIGHTH AVENUE, SUITE 1700 NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10001 PHONE: (212) 633-8052 FAX: (212) 633-8096  ROOM 430 STATE CAPITOL ALBANY, NY 12247 PHONE: (518) 455-2451 FAX: (518) 455-6846

June 19, 2009 Hon. Eric Adams Hon. Neil D. Breslin Hon. Martin Malave Dilan Hon. Craig Johnson Hon. Jeffrey D. Klein Hon. Liz Krueger Hon. Velmanette Montgomery Hon. Suzi Oppenheimer Hon. Kevin S. Parker Hon. Bill Perkins Hon. Diane J. Savino Hon. Eric T. Schneiderman Hon. Jose Serrano Hon. Daniel Squadron Hon. Toby Ann Stavisky Hon. Andrea Stewart-Cousins Hon. Antoine Thompson

Dear Colleague: The turmoil over the past two weeks is unprecedented and unsettling. In the aftermath of the attempted coup, Senator Malcolm Smith has remained the Majority Leader and Senator John Sampson has become the Conference Leader. It is a testament to the Conference that the leadership structure remained intact during this crisis. I am, however, deeply troubled by the fact that since the new leadership structure was announced, neither Senator Smith nor Senator Sampson have promised, either privately and publically, that same-sex marriage will come to the floor and pass in the State Senate. Senator Smith and Senator Sampson have been quite vocal in their support for many progressive issues such as strengthening tenant protections and preserving affordable housing, safeguarding reproductive health rights, power for jobs, criminal justice reform, mental health parity and many other important issues. Yet there has been no mention of marriage equality since the June 8th coup. This is unacceptable. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot support any Leader who does not demand that marriage equality come to the floor and pass in 2009. I urge that you, as a co-sponsor of the marriage equality legislation, will do the same.

This is much more than a one-issue stance. It is symbolic of the philosophy of the Conference as a whole. If we allow our leaders to push marriage aside because it is politically expedient what is next? Please contact me at your earliest convenience if you will join with me in demanding that our new leaders take a stand on marriage equality. Sincerely,

Thomas K. Duane 29th Senate District cc: Hon. Malcolm A. Smith Senate Majority Leader Hon. John L. Sampson Senate Majority Conference Leader