New York state Sen. Steven Saland (R) spoke with the Poughkeepsie Journal this afternoon and described what he refered to as his “emotional and intellectual journey” towards supporting marriage equality. On Friday, Saland was one of just four Republicans to vote in favor of the same same-sex marriage bill in the Senate after lawmakers reached an agreement on language exempting religious organizations and their associates from recognizing same-sex marriages.
Saland revealed that his wife and children all supported marriage equality, and estimated that his office received at least 10,000 communications and between 60 to 100 calls an hour about the vote. He also said Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was “directly involved” in the negotiations and “far more hands on and far more engaged” than past New York governors.
Asked what he would remember most about his vote, Saland said, “I realized I had voted on Lord only knows how many thousands of bills, I’ve had to make many many difficult decisions, but I don’t think that any of them quite rose to the magnitude of this decision. I think this may have been the most difficult decision that I’ve had to make.” Watch highlights from the interview: