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GOP's Bruno has change of heart on same-sex marriage

Former State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno said he now supports legalizing same-sex marriage, a change of heart that could influence Albany lawmakers.

The 80-year-old, who retired last year as the state's most powerful Republican, said he now sees the issue as a civil right.

"As a Republican, I believe in personal freedom," Bruno said in a written statement. He said support of the measure by Democratic Gov. David A. Paterson, a friend and longtime collegial adversary in the Senate, helped him change his mind. Two years ago, Bruno blocked a version of the bill that the Democrat-led Assembly had passed.

"I opposed same sex marriage largely because the overwhelming majority of my caucus opposed it," Bruno stated. "However, that view really does conflict with the rights that are afforded all of us."

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