by David Carlucci, NYS Senator (D- Rockland)
As many of you know I had the privilege of serving as Town Clerk in Clarktown for five years before being elected to the State Senate. In my capacity as Clerk I officiated hundreds of weddings for people from all walks of life. It was a great honor to help two consenting adults pledge their love publicly for one another and to be able to recognize their marriage as legally binding.
It was for many the happiest day of their lives. I too can think back just a few short months ago when I had the privilege of marrying the love of my life, Lauren.
As Clerk I preformed these weddings not as a member of a particular religion or clergy position, but as a duly elected representative of government. That distinction is important. The passage of this bill does not seek to define or redefine what marriage is in the eyes of any religion. Instead it defines what the state of New York shall recognize as marriage along with the 1,300 federal and state rights afforded to those able to enter into marriage.
As the Governor so succinctly said last week. “This is marriage in a civil context. Marriage defined by government, not be a religion.’€
That is why I will be voting in support of Marriage Equality legislation in the State Senate.
I do not believe that this bill as written will force any person or religious institution in our state to alter their own beliefs and policies. Nor do I believe that allowing two loving adults of the same sex to marry will somehow take away from the love I have for my wife Lauren, or the marriages of any of my colleagues, or the marriages of any New Yorker.
Gay New Yorkers are our friends and neighbors, our colleagues, our family and our loved ones.
They’re asking for the right to enter into a committed bond, to have that bond recognized as legally valid by this State, and for the respect and recognition that the majority of us already receive.
Senator David Carlucci represents New York’s 38th Senate District which includes Rockland County and Warwick, NY.