By Gudrun Schultz
NEW YORK, May 1, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - NY Governor Eliot Spitzer has introduced legislation that would establish legal recognition for homosexual unions in the state, and has pledged to bring forward a bill that would strengthen the state's abortion laws, in anticipation of potential legal challenges following the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the ban on partial birth abortion procedures.
Gov. Spitzer introduced a measure on April 27 that would eliminate gender from the legal definition of marriage and make denying a marriage license to homosexual couples illegal. Mr. Spitzer ran his election campaign on a platform that included legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.
The legislation would open the door to gay marriage in the state, in the first instance of a governor initiating a change to the traditional definition of marriage. The bill has little likelihood of passing the state legislature, however, according to a report by The Daily Princetonian.
The governor followed his introduction of pro-homosexual legislation with a pledge Wednesday to bring forward a bill that would widen the scope of the state's abortion law.
The Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act would expand the current health clause to permit abortions late in pregnancies, banned under the original state law, the New York Times reported April 25. The Act would also remove abortion from criminal statutes--abortion is officially considered an act of homicide in the state but with broad exceptions that, in practice, allow for abortion on demand during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.
Mr. Spitzer announced the coming proposal at a Manhattan luncheon hosted by Naral Pro-Choice New York. Interestingly, the governor's mother is a board member of an organization closely affiliated with Naral, and was bestowed with a lifetime achievement award at the event, according to the Times.
In related news, after a delay of nearly a month and a concerted campaign of phone calls to his office by individuals from across the country, Mr. Spitzer finally signed a proclamation supporting the annual National Day of Prayer (NDP), held every year since 1952 on the first Thursday in May, with governors from all states signing the annual proclamation.
According to the NDP task force's official policy statement, "[The] diversity [of Americans] is what Congress intended when it designated the Day of Prayer, not that every faith and creed would be homogenized, but that all who sought to pray for this nation would be encouraged to do so in any way deemed appropriate."
When repeated requests to Gov. Spitzer's office failed to produce the required signature, Focus on the Family's CitizenLink eventually issued an alert requesting concerned citizens contact the office to complain.
"After being flooded with phone calls from family advocates around the nation, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer today joined the other 49 governors in issuing a proclamation supporting Thursday's observance of the National Day of Prayer (NDP)," CitizenLink reported last week.
Mr. Spitzer signed the proclamation April 25, just four days prior to the event. The deadline requested for his signature had been April 1. Press secretary Christine Anderson told CitizenLink the governor "always intended to sign it," saying delays can happen in paperwork.
See related LifeSiteNews coverage:
New York Legislature Pledges to Outstrip Competitors in Funding Ambitious Embryo Research Project
"In Cordibus Jesu et Mariae"