Two Republican Senators who voted for marriage in New York win primary battles

In the New York State primaries earlier this month, two Republican Senators who voted to approve the freedom to marry in the New York State legislature last year won their primary battles. 

Four Republican Senators voted to approve marriage for same-sex couples in June 2011 - Mark Grisanti, Stephen Saland, Roy McDonald, and James Alesi. Here's how each of the courageous senators fared in the primary: 

  • Senator Grisanti (R - Buffalo) enjoyed very strong support from his district and easily won the race against his challenger. He'll enter the general election with very strong support. 
  • Senator Saland (R - Poughkeepsie) was declared the victor in his primary race yesterday, when the Dutchess County Democratic Elections Commission finished counting all of the absentee ballots in his race. 
  • Senator Alesi did not seek reelection. 
  • Senator McDonald (R - Monroe County) lost his race by a very tiny margin - fewer than 100 votes.

For the past year, our opponents have been insisting that they would defeat all of the Republicans who stood up for committed same-sex couples, but the victories for Senators Grisanti and Saland are just more demonstrations of the fact that supporting the freedom to marry is not a political risk. 

New Yorkers are sending a clear message to the rest of the country: They will continue to support their elected officials when they stand up for the freedom to marry. People from across the political and ideological spectrum are supporting marriage for same-sex couples at record high levels, and elected officials are speaking out in favor of fairness for all families at higher rates than ever.

We applaud this latest evidence that our opponents are out of touch with the majority of Americans, and we congratulate Senators Grisanti and Saland on their victories. We thank Senator McDonald for his years of service, and for standing up for all families with his vote last year in New York state.