One Man's Clout May Derail Gay Marriage in NY
Conservative Party chief's opposition is huge obstacle
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2011 6:45 PM CDT
That's New York conservative chief Michael Long on the right, along with Carl Paladino in a file photo from last year.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

(Newser) – Big-name politicians such as Andrew Cuomo and Michael Bloomberg support the idea of legalizing gay marriage in New York state this year, but they have one very big hurdle to overcome, the New York Times explains. The hurdle's name is Michael Long, and he is chair of the state's Conservative Party. “In order to get the endorsement of the Conservative Party, one of the deal breakers is traditional marriage,” says Long. "You say, ‘I’m not for traditional marriage,’ you’re not going to get our endorsement. It’s as simple as that.”

The consequences are huge: Republicans in the deep-blue state frequently run on both the GOP and Conservative lines, and many win only with the additional votes they pick up from Long's party. Republicans can't afford to cross him, and, in fact, not a single GOP lawmaker has voiced support for the legislation on gay marriage. Unless that changes, the measure cannot pass, notes the Times.