The Marriage Equality Governor

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 19 2011 @ 3:29pm

GQ snagged an interview with the guy who made it happen in New York:

Andrew Cuomo: Look, there are issues that come across your desk…that you just say, "This is absurd." Marriage equality changed life for people. When we did the 117383869gay-pride parade after the passage? I can't tell you how many family members, friends, sisters, and brothers… It provided a level of acceptance for millions of people. And their families. 

GQ: And you got the activists to work together—

Andrew Cuomo: Yeah. Because they were a fractured group. But I mean, you look at the injustice of the issue. [switches voices, mimicking the opposition] "You can't get married if you're gay." Why? "Well, because you're gay." And? "And, well, you can't make babies." That's the argument. Oh, really? So then we should change the law to say, "Only people who can and want to make babies can get married." So an infertile man can't. A woman who can't, she can't get married. People who don't want to make a baby, they can't get married. So let's change the law so it says, "Only people who can and will make babies." "Well, we don't want to do that. You can get married if you don't want to make a baby or if you can't—except if you're gay!" There's no logic.

Laura Nahmias covered Cuomo's recent speech to the Empire State Pride Agenda suggesting the governor is preparing to ride the momentum of marriage to the presidential stage in 2016:

"[Marriage equality in New York] was a universal victory," Cuomo said to the assembled crowd. "Now we are going to go forward with the rest of the equality agenda. Nationwide there are no federal antidiscrimination laws for LGBT and there need to be. There are no federal antidiscrimination laws for housing or employment. DOMA has to go away once and for all!"

Nahmias also shows how Cuomo is building Obama-like bipartisan cred with the GOP-controlled senate. More on his cross-party appeal:

Cuomo’s first post-gay marriage poll found that 53 percent of Republicans approved of his job performance, and, even more surprisingly, a May poll found that two-thirds of Tea Partiers gave Cuomo positive marks on his handling of the state budget. National Review‘s Michael Tanner described the Democrat as "Reaganesque" in his approach to tax cuts and state spending, while his colleague Reihan Salam thinks a Cuomo presidential run would represent "an excellent outcome for fiscal conservatives."

(Hat tip: Taegan Goddard. Photo: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo marches during the Gay Pride parade on June 26, 2011 in New York City. The parade took on extra significance following Friday night's legalization of same-sex marriage in New York, often regarded as the birthplace of the gay rights movement. Cuomo was a leading force behind the legislation. By Mario Tama/Getty Images)