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As Conventions Near Debate Continues on Same-Sex Marriage

  • Peter Fedynsky

NEW YORK — Business in Nic Faitos’ Manhattan flower shop is, well, blossoming - up by nearly 20 percent since last year, when the state of New York approved same-sex marriage. New York is one of only six American states to have legalized gay marriage.

“Every vendor who provides any kind of service to weddings, all the way from catering halls, venues, taxi drivers, limo drivers shuttling people back and forth to the airports; everybody that is a … photographers … anybody that is at all involved with the bridal industry has benefited,” Faitos said.

New York has become a destination for couples unable to marry in other states. Many would like to see same-sex marriage legalized nationwide.

“It’s sad that we have to come all the way to New York, where neither of us is from, and find a witness and pay some fees to get this done and we can’t have our families here,” said Cindy Dick. She and her partner are from Florida.

The U.S. Republican Party has largely avoided the controversial issue of same-sex marriage, while the Democratic Party appears prepared to endorse such marriage for all 50 states.

The Democratic Party platform committee wants the party convention in September to endorse same-sex marriage nationwide, which pleases Marc Solomon, director of the Freedom to Marry organization.

“Democrats are much more interested in emphasizing their position to fire up their base and get young people excited about their candidates, and Republicans are being pretty careful, sort of not wanting to talk about it,” he said.

Local Republicans were instrumental in passing the New York law, although many national Republican leaders oppose same-sex marriage.

Months ago at a Christian university, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney spoke out against it.

"So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage - marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman," he said.

Lately, Romney has drawn criticism from some for focusing mostly on the economy, and the party appears unlikely to focus on the issue during the remainder of the campaign.

Same-sex marriage opponent Paul Cameron, of the Family Research Institute in Colorado says that hurts the party.

“The Republican Party is losing a lot of enthusiasm by even countenancing, even being quiet about homosexual marriage,” he said.

But opinion polls indicate about half of all Americans favor same-sex marriage. However, the issue has failed in every state that held a popular vote, and only six state legislatures have legalized same-sex marriage.

While the debate goes on across the country, New York florists are among those reaping the economic reward of arranging weddings for same-sex couples.
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