State Senator Diane Savino, who represents Staten Island and Brooklyn, is getting praise for her speech in favor of gay marriage during the ultimately unsuccessful vote in the Senate yesterday.
She pointed out, "We're giving away husbands on a TV show," referred to fellow State Senator Thomas Duane's relationship with his partner, "I will tell you, I'm over the age of 40--and that's all you're going to get from me--but I have never been able to maintain a relationship of the quality and length that they have. We have nothing to fear from love and commitment. My only hope, Tom, is that we pass this bill and the governor signs it and that we can learn from you, and that you don't learn from us," and ended with, "We have nothing to fear from love and commitment."
Here's video of her speech (Rachel Maddow Tweeted that it was a "great, great floor speech").
Hmmm. So it was funny because, under your speech posted online, people commented like, "Oh I didn't know there even were cool people like Diane, or even Democrats, from Staten Island." How does that sit with you?
Staten Island has a reputation as being a very conservative place, bedrock Republicanism, but the truth is, that's not been the case for quite a while now. We have an openly gay elected assemblyman, Matt Titone. The place has doubled in size the past twenty years, with more people having moved there from the other boroughs. I grew up in Queens — Astoria — and I moved there as an adult because I wanted to buy a house and couldn't afford a house in Queens. It's in an area called Fort Wadsworth.
While Savino doesn't have gay family, she does have "gay friends, just like everybody of our generation now." And when asked, "Are you the type who says you won't get married till your gay friends can get married, too?" she answers, "No. I think the likelihood is that they'll get married before I do." Awww.