New York Nuptials

by David Weigel

New York's Democratic party is one of the most fractious, with urban African-Americans, liberal Jews, ethnic suburbans and upstate union workers making up a coalition that nominated candidates as diverse as Daniel Moynihan, Chuck Schumer, and Hillary Clinton in the space of six years. So it's a little bit surprising that a healthy plurality of New York Democrats - 48 percent - support full gay marriage rights. Only 32 percent oppose them. Pace University's poll doesn't go on to ask what Democrats think of civil unions, but we can extrapolate that the number is even higher.

Since it's a foregone conclusion that Eliot Spitzer is going to win the governor's mansion, not much attention is being paid to the sea change that could bring to gay rights. Spitzer supports gay marriage, and has said he'd sign a gay marriage bill that got to his desk. When he does so, he'll have an ascendent NY Democratic party backing him up. What will that portend for marriage rights nationally?