Stephen M. Saland
Stephen M. Saland (born November 12, 1943) is an American attorney and politician. He was a Republican member of the New York State Senate, representing the 41st District from 1990 to 2012. His district included all of Columbia County and most of Dutchess County. Prior to his Senate tenure, Saland served in the New York State Assembly. Saland is notable as one of four Republican Members of the New York State Senate that voted in favor of the Marriage Equality Act in 2011. Following his vote for same-sex marriage, Saland lost his 2012 re-election bid to Democrat Terry Gipson. Since 2016, Saland has served on the board of the state Thruway Authority.
A native of Poughkeepsie, Saland earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University at Buffalo in 1965 and a Juris Doctor from Rutgers Law School in 1968. He maintains a law practice in Poughkeepsie, where he is of counsel to Gellert & Klein, P.C.
Saland worked as a legislative aide to a New Jersey Assemblyman, and later as an executive assistant to New York Assemblyman Emeel S. Betros, who later became Saland's law partner. He began his own career in public service as a town councilman in Wappinger. In April 1980, Saland was elected to the New York State Assembly in District 99 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Betros. His first action as a state legislator was to introduce a bill requiring the state to reimburse school districts for interest debts they incurred from borrowing money because of New York's budget crisis. Saland was re-elected several times, and remained in the Assembly until 1990.
Saland was a member of the New York State Senate (41st District) from 1991 to 2012. After voting for same-sex marriage in 2011, Saland received a Republican primary challenge from Neil Di Carlo in 2012. Di Carlo made a campaign issue of Saland's same-sex marriage vote. Although Saland won the primary by a margin of 107 votes, Di Carlo continued his campaign as the candidate of the Conservative Party. Saland lost the general election to Democrat Terry Gipson by 2,096 votes; Di Carlo acted as a spoiler, receiving 17,300 votes on the Conservative line.
2011 same-sex marriage vote
On June 24, 2011, Saland cast the deciding vote in favor of New York's Marriage Equality Act, which legalized same-sex marriage in New York. Saland announced that he would vote "yes" on June 24, 2011—the same day that the bill came to the Senate floor for a vote. Saland had previously voted "no" on same-sex marriage in December 2009. While speaking in defense of an amendment exempting religious organizations from recognizing same-sex marriage, Saland described his vote as a vote of conscience: "I have defined doing the right thing as treating all persons with equality ... And that equality includes the definition of marriage. I fear that to do otherwise would fly in the face of my upbringing".  Saland was one of four Republican state senators that voted in favor of the Marriage Equality Act.
- "Senator Stephen M. Saland (NY)". Project Vote Smart.
- "7,500 seen voting in the 99th District". The Evening News. April 13, 1980.
- "Saland sworn, seeks school help". The Evening News. April 23, 1980.
- "Saland Gets A Primary Challenger". Archived from the original on July 1, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- Kriss, Erik. "Saland loses narrowly". New York Post. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
- "Saland ekes out GOP primary win". The Poughkeepsie Journal. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- Hoffman, Allison (June 17, 2011). "Jewish Lawmaker Key to N.Y. Marriage Bill: Scion of prominent rabbinic family has been lobbied by ultra-Orthodox". Tablet Magazine. Archived from the original on June 25, 2011.
But he is, according to people familiar with the Agudath campaign, directly related to Shmuel Salant, a prominent rabbi of the late 19th century who served as the Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem until his death in 1909. The Agudath has, accordingly, sweetened its appeals with references to the lawmaker's family tree—and some enthusiastic supporters in Jerusalem are rumored to have gone so far as to have prayed at Salant's grave in hopes of his intercession in the matter.
- "Saland to vote 'yes' on gay marriage". Daily Freeman. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- Epstein, Reid J. "New York gay marriage bill passes". Politico.
After weeks of suspense, Stephen Saland, a Poughkeepsie Republican announced himself on the senate floor as the 32nd senator to back the legislation, tipping the balance in favor of it passing. Saland defined his vote as a matter of conscience: "I have defined doing the right thing as treating all persons with equality ... And that quality includes the definition of marriage. I fear that to do otherwise would fly in the face of my upbringing", Saland stated and was joined in announcing his newfound support for gay marriage on the senate floor by Mark Grisanti, a first-term Buffalo Republican who did not declare how he would vote until his floor speech Friday night.
- New York becomes ^th largest state to legalize gay marriage, msnbc.com; accessed August 14, 2014.
|New York Assembly|
Emeel S. Betros
| New York State Assembly
Glenn E. Warren
William J. Larkin, Jr.
| New York State Assembly
Donald H. McMillen
|New York State Senate|
Jay P. Rolison, Jr.
| New York State Senate
| New York State Senate
Chairman of the Committee on Codes
Michael F. Nozzolio