After months of delay and uncertainty, the New York Senate overwhelmingly rejected marriage equality.
After more than two hours of intense debate at today's special legislative session, the Senate voted 38-to-24 against passsage. This was eight votes short of a majority. None of the Senate's 30 Republicans voted for the measure. Of the 32 Democrats, 24 voted for it, eight against. The state assembly marriage bill passed for the third time late last night.
Gov. David Paterson repeatedly pressed senators to vote on the bill although it's fate was uncertain. That's unusual in Albany, where legislation usually makes it to the floor only if passage is guaranteed. Supporters were disappointed with the vote but vowed to continue fighting.
Sen. Tom Duane, the openly gay senator from Manhattan, was the bill's lead sponsor. Duane tells the Daily News: "The time is never right for civil rights - the economy, wars, the troubles we've had here in the Senate - but the paradox is it's always time to be on the right side of history."
Democrats hold a tenuous, razor-thin 32-30 majority in the Senate. Republican votes were always necessary for passage. The eight Democrats voting against marriage equality include: Rabidly anti-gay Bronx Pentecostal minister Ruben Diaz Sr; ; Shirley Huntley Queens; Joseph Addabo, (Queens); Darrell Aubertine (Adirondacks); Carl Kruger (Brooklyn); Hiram Montserrate (Queens); George Onarato (Queens); William Stachowski (Lakeview). Six of the eight Democrats who opposed the marriage bill are from New York City.