A Washington D.C.-based group, the National Organization for Marriage, says it's pledging $2 million to reverse the law and remove the lawmakers who voted in favor of it. Freshman Republican Senator Mark Grisanti is one of those lawmakers being targeted by the group.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — There may be political fallout for some New York State lawmakers who voted for the same sex marriage law.
In a fundraising email to supporters, the National Organization for Marriage announced its pledging $2 million to help reverse the gay marriage law and oust the lawmakers who supported it.
"These Republicans, especially who betrayed their party, betrayed their voters, are going to need to be held accountable, and we pledged $2 million to make sure that that happens," said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage.
Brown says one Republican lawmaker in particular is the top of the list.
"Mark Grisanti's vote was an absolute and total betrayal. Mark Grisanti asked us in his first bid for the Senate in 2008 to support him. He promised that he would protect marriage as the union between a man and a woman,” said Brown. “He not only betrayed us, he betrayed his voters. He is at the top of our target list."
"I'm comfortable with my decision and my vote because I think it was a balance, and whatever NOM wants to do, as I said, that's what makes this country great. Go ahead and do what you’ve got to do" said Sen. Grisanti, (R).
Grisanti was one of four Republicans and three Democrats who changed their vote in favor of same sex marriage. Grisanti defends his vote, saying it was based on fairness, not his religious beliefs or political survival.
"It was not going to be a political vote. It was a vote of my conscience and it was a vote basically, definitely of fairness, and a balance that personified what I stated on the floor, that same sex couples should have the same right that I enjoy with my wife that I love,” said Grisanti. “The other side of it is that the religious organizations, the non-profits and the benevolent organizations, they're all protected,” said Grisanti.
"There's a big integrity issue that's going to be a problem for these lawmakers in the future,” said Reverend Kevin Backus. Backus is pastor of Bible Presbyterian Church on Grand Island and a member of the Conservative Party. He thinks Grisanti simply broke his word to his supporters.
"The integrity issue is paramount. If you stand in front of a committee and you say, ‘I'm unalterably opposed to this’ or you say ‘I won't vote for anything that has marriage in it’ and then you do. What are we supposed to make out of anything else you tell us?" said Backus.
"If there's one person or however many people there are that voted with me strictly on that issue, I apologize to them, but at the time, I wasn't lying to them. It wasn’t some sort of big thing where I was saying ‘oh, I think I'm going to vote for this" then switch my mind later,” said Grisanti.
The National Organization for Marriage stated it will target not just Republicans but Democrats as well who voted for the law, most of whom will be up for re-election next year.