An update to today's chaotic and accomplishment-free special session in Albany: For the first time ever, leaders of the New York Senate have committed to a debate and a vote on marriage equality. Flanked by four rank-and-file Senate Democrats and Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle, Gov. David Paterson this evening announced there will be a gay marriage vote at before the end of the year, reports Gay City News.
"This is the first time that the Senate leadership has indicated that it will support a vote on marriage equality. This is a stunning and very happy development in this process. I will continue to place marriage equality on any special sessions that I call on Monday and Tuesday because I feel that the bill should be debated immediately. However, I have profound respect for the leadership of the Senate and the process that they took to bring us to this vote."
Paterson was joined by the Senate's deputy majority leader, Jeffrey Klein, who represents portions of the Bronx and Weschester; Manhattan Senator Eric Schneiderman; Thomas Duane, the openly gay Chelsea senator who is the lead sponsor of the marriage equality bill; and Eric Adams, the black Brooklyn senator who delivered a moving floor speech earlier on the importance of LGBT rights and marriage equality.
Liz Benjamin at the Daily News quotes sources who suggest Senate Democratic leaders will "shoot for a vote next Tuesday" after the Senate passes a deficit reduction plan (hopefully) on Monday. If there's no DRP, debate could begin but a vote will likely be delayed.
Daily News photo via DNBlog1's Flickr