MALONE — State Assembly candidates Timothy Carpenter and Karen Bisso agree on several high-profile issues, but they differ on one notable one.
At a candidates forum at the Franklin County Government Center Tuesday night, Carpenter said he supports gay marriage while Bisso said she does not.
“I probably would have supported it,” Carpenter said when asked about the gay-marriage legislation that was approved by the New York State Legislature last year.
Carpenter said that as a member of the Assembly he would support the same rules for everyone, and it would not be fair for same-sex couples to be deprived of the legal benefits of marriage.
Bisso said she believes the definition of marriage is between a man and a woman and that if there are legal inequities for gay people, they can be addressed through other means.
“Those inequities could have been tackled in a different way. That doesn’t mean you have to change the definition of marriage,” Bisso said.
DUPREY IN ALBANY
Bisso, a longtime City of Plattsburgh school teacher, is running as the Conservative Party candidate in the race for the 115th District seat.
Carpenter, a state correction officer and a City of Plattsburgh councilor from Ward 1, is running as a Democrat.
They both are trying to unseat Republican incumbent Assemblywoman Janet Duprey of Peru. Duprey, who has been in the Assembly since 2006, voted in favor of gay marriage last year.
Bisso and Carpenter spoke to a small group of about a dozen people from around Franklin County Tuesday night in the forum moderated by WAMC’s Pat Bradley.
Duprey did not attend the event, citing scheduling conflicts with her Assembly duties that were scheduled months ago.
“I won’t give up something I’ve committed to as an Assembly member for a campaign,” she said Tuesday afternoon.