<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">By JOE LOTEMPLIO</a>
PLATTSBURGH — Breaking from her state colleagues, State Sen. Betty Little affirmed her opposition to gay marriage.
Little (R-Queensbury) said Thursday in a meeting with the Press-Republican Editorial Board, that she favors equal rights for same-sex couples but believes marriage ought to remain traditional.
“I believe we need to respect the historic and cultural definition of marriage as a union between a man and woman,” Little said.
She said research shows that the best situation for raising children is a family unit with a mother and a father.
“I know a lot of times that doesn’t happen either, but I think a lot of people try to keep a family together.”
Little added that gay people can still have equal rights without marriage.
“Life still evolves, and there are ways to give equal rights, and I think we can do that through civil unions and other ways.”
The senator said she was uncomfortable with the way some supporters of gay marriage are pushing their agenda.
“They are thrusting their beliefs on people, to some extent.”
Assemblywomen Janet Duprey (R-Peru) and Teresa Sayward (R-Willsboro) both support same-sex marriage.
The subject did not even come up for discussion when the three lawmakers recently met for dinner, Little said.
The subject did come up at Wednesday night’s Clinton County Legislature meeting, where longtime Legislator Sam Trombley made his position crystal clear: “I am against gay marriage.”
Trombley (R-Area 2, Ellenburg) told fellow legislators that he feels it is important to go on record against the state-level proposal to allow gay marriage.
“Just because we are legislators, people think we go along with everything in this state, but that’s not the case. I believe strongly in this, and if you don’t say what you feel because you are afraid of losing votes, then what good are you?”
Trombley, 72, who has served on the legislature since 1983, has long been a supporter of groups who oppose abortion.
He said Wednesday night that he agrees with the Catholic bishops in the state, who are calling on the State Legislature to defeat any gay-marriage proposals.
“This proposal, for which there is no compelling state interest and which will weaken rather than strengthen the institution of marriage, (should be defeated),” Trombley read from a prepared statement.
“Marriage has always been — and is now and always will be — in a union of one man and one woman in a bond. This is consistent with biology and natural law and should be obvious to all, no matter what their religion or even if they have no religion at all.”
Trombley said it is getting harder and harder to teach children family values, with proposals like gay marriage.
“What is this country coming to? What kind of answers are we going to be able to give to our kids?”