NEW YORK, N.Y. (WPIX) -- Saying that the "time has come," Governor David Paterson introduced a bill Thursday that would allow same-sex couples to wed, granting them as many as 1,350 civil protections in the state of New York.
"I'm introducing a bill to bring marriage equality to the state of New York," Paterson said to applause, surrounded by leaders including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
The bill has already drawn fire from stiff opposition, including newly installed Archbishop Timothy Dolan and a slew of state senators, but that is not discouraging the governor. Paterson says he believes the momentum gained by other states allowing gay marriage will help get the bill through.
At one point, Paterson compared the struggles that same-sex couples have to endure to the fight to abolish slavery in America nearly two centuries ago.
"Rights should not be stifled by fear. What we should understand is that silence should not be a response to injustice. And that if we take not action, we will surely lose," Paterson said.
Recent polls reveal legalizing gay marriage in New York remains controversial. A spokesman for State Senate Republicans says their opposition to gay marriage has not changed.
Back in 2007, a similar bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state of New York was passed by the Assembly but later died in the Senate where the Republican majority kept it from going to a vote.
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