An update to the battle for marriage equality in New York, where the state Senate considers Gov. David Paterson's marriage bill that passed the Assembly. Openly gay Sen. Thomas Duane, the chief sponsor of the Senate version, now claims he has the votes to pass the measure, the Daily News reports.
"Duane said he's received assurances of support from more than the 32 senators needed to approve the bill. 'I have the votes,' said Duane, who predicted the Senate would vote on the matter before the end of its session this month. Duane declined to say which senators had agreed to support the bill, but said the list included some Republicans."
The marriage bill faces an uphill battle in the Democratic-controlled Senate where Majority Leader Malcolm Smith has a razor thin 32-30 majority. Smith vows to bring the bill to the floor only when it has the 32 votes it needs to pass although some activists and bloggers believe he is dragging his feet. Two weeks ago the bill was reportedly up to six votes short. "There's still work to be done," Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, tells the Daily News.
Several Democratic senators—such as arch-conservative anti-gay Pentecostal minister Ruben Diaz Sr. of the Bronx and George Onorato of Queens—say they will vote against it. Shirley Huntley, another Queens Democrat, says she is so opposed to marriage equality that "if they gave me a million dollars, tax free, I just wouldn’t vote for it."
Sure would be nice to have a marriage equality bill by the 40th anniversary of Stonewall. Not sure will that happen but let's be hopeful.