Enough Votes to Pass Same-Sex Marriage in the Senate?
June 1st, 2009
With less than a month left in the current session, it is still unclear whether there is enough support in the Senate to pass legislation legalizing gay marriage.
Today Sen. Tom Duane hosted a rally for gay marriage featuring a number of gay couples who spoke about what marriage would mean to them. Duane says there are enough votes to pass the same-sex marriage bill in the Senate. He insisted that the bill will come to the floor and, “Itís passing.”
However, Irene Jay Liu of the Albany Times Union points out gay marriage is not currently on Senate Majority Malcolm Smith’s to-do list as he is still under the impression that there are not enough votes to pass the bill.
The Legislative Gazette took a survey of senators who are not signed on as sponsors to the gay marriage bill. At least five Democrats are against the bill; these include Sens. Darrel Aubertine, George Onorato, Ruben Diaz and Shirley Huntley. A number of other Democrats said they are still considering their stance, declined to comment, or did not return calls. The majority of Republicans surveyed do not support the measure, while at least 12 Republicans did not return calls.
Duane says he does have Republican support for the bill. An unnamed senator told Albany’s Capital News 9 that there are multiple Republicans who would vote for the bill and urged Smith to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.
Traditional values groups have been lobbying the minority hard to forestall any Republican support. The National Organization For Marriage paid for a $100,000 television and radio campaign against gay marriage that ran in Long Island and upstate from May 28 to May 31. A rally against gay marriage will be held at the capitol on June 9.
Meanwhile, supporters of gay marriage have upped their efforts. The Empire State Pride Agenda has been running television spots featuring same-sex couples from upstate with their supportive families. And the New York Civil Liberties Union just launched a new website to help lobbying efforts.By David King on June 1, 2009, 3:39 pm
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