Cuomo Believes in States’ Rights on Same-Sex Marriage

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo stood clear of offering advice to President Obama on how to handle the pressure on the president to take a stance on same-sex marriage.

“I believe in states’ rights,” Cuomo told reporters today after a cabinet meeting at the Capitol. “I would like to see a place where this law is accepted all across the nation. I’ve advocated as such. I don’t know that the solution should be the federal government telling states what to do. I think the American people will get there, and I think they are on the road to getting there.”

Cuomo last year shepherded through the state Legislature last year the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York, the largest state in the country to do so.

Cuomo didn’t let on what he and Obama discussed yesterday when they were in Albany together. Asked by our own Jon Campbell about the conversation, Cuomo joked, “He said Jon Campbell is his favorite journalist, he reads him every day and is there any way I could introduce you guys?”

After the laughs, Cuomo said: “Most of the conversation you guys heard. Most of it was at the facility. I had a few minutes with the president alone. It was basically a private conversation; nothing that I would want to share or I would think would be especially relevant to you.”

After North Carolina voted yesterday to approve a constitutional amendment declaring marriage as between a man and a woman, Cuomo said each state can choose its own course.

But he said, “I think a lot of the increase in this dialogue may very well be in part because of the action this state took. I think the influence of New York is being felt.”

As for offering advice to Obama on how to proceed on the controversial issue, Cuomo said that isn’t his role. Obama has said he is “evolving” on the issue, though Vice President Joe Biden last weekend offered support for same-sex marriage.

“I have my opinion, as you know, Cuomo continued. “I’ve stated my opinion clearly to the people of the state. I’ve taken the action I’ve deemed appropriate, vis a vis the people of the state. I wouldn’t presume to tell the president of the United States what his opinion should be or his politics or his strategy.”

And as for speaking yesterday at the presidential podium, the potential 2016 presidential candidate said he didn’t notice the seal until he later saw pictures of himself in front of it.

“As podiums go, I thought it was a nice podium,” Cuomo said.

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