Local News

April 17, 2009

Local Assemblywoman supports same-sex marriages

'I feel this is something I need to support'

PLATTSBURGH — During the summer of 2007, three parents spoke with Janet Duprey about their dreams that their gay children would enjoy the same rights as the rest of society.

The assemblywoman listened to their heartfelt pleas, and as she departed for her own wedding anniversary, she knew it was wrong to deny others the very happiness she has enjoyed on the mere basis of sexual orientation.

Friday afternoon, she officially announced her support for the same-sex legislation recently introduced by Gov. David Paterson.

"I feel this is something I need to support," said Duprey, speaking at a press conference Friday in her Plattsburgh office.

The proposal is the same bill proposing the legalization of same-sex marriage that died in the Senate in 2007.

Duprey, who stated marriage is between a man and a woman when she ran for office in 2006, voted against the same-sex marriage bill at the time.

"There is no doubt that the issue of same-sex marriage is one that generates strong opinions from people who are passionate both in their opposition and support of this legislation," Duprey said.

She threw her support behind civil unions for same-sex couples and pledged to study the issue, meet with constituents and remain open as information landed on her desk.

Over the past couple years, Duprey responded to hundreds of phone calls, letters and e-mails from individuals on both sides of the issue. She met with dozens of people who are passionately for and against same-sex marriages and spent time with religious leaders, also reading books and position papers on both sides of the argument.

"In all of the discussions I have had with my constituents, the ones that moved me the most were the parents of homosexual children whom they love dearly," Duprey said. "To a person these parents expressed their desire to see their gay and/or lesbian children share the same benefits, protection and love with their partners as their heterosexual siblings do with their spouses."

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