Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New York State Senate could vote late tonight on marriage bill

Activists have begun to travel to Albany ahead of a possible vote later tonight on a bill that would allow gays and lesbians to marry in New York State.

An Albany source confirmed the possibility to Boy in Bushwick earlier this afternoon. The source said lawmakers could potentially vote on the proposed legislation after they address the state's deficit reduction plan and farmers' bill. Elizabeth Benjamin of the Daily News further reported state Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr. [D-Bronx,] who vigorously opposes any move to allow marriage for same-sex couples, had retired to his office to pray.

A spokesperson for state Sen. Tom Duane [D-Chelsea] declined comment on the reports, but it remains unclear as to whether the bill has enough support in the state Senate to pass. It appears clear, however, bill proponents will need bi-partisan support if they have any hope of passage.

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn expressed her optimism about bi-partisan support during an interview with WNBC before she left for Albany.

"The right thing to do is to have a vote," Quinn said. "This is an issue where the state has the power to do this. This is an emotional personal issue and an issue where you have to say your position; say it in public."

The session is slated to begin at 9 p.m.

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