NY governor calls special session, places gay marriage on the agenda

Gov David PatersonGov. David A. Paterson said Thursday that he would include gay marriage on the agenda of an extraordinary session he is calling for Tuesday, potentially setting up the first vote on the issue in the State Senate and a dramatic floor debate, The New York Times reports.

Paterson wants the Senate to give final legislative approval to same-sex marriage. But there’s no guarantee there are enough votes to carry the measure, which has already passed in the Assembly.

Although the Legislature is required to attend the session, it isn’t required to vote.

The bill requires final legislative approval in the Democrat-controlled Senate, but it’s unclear if there are enough Republican votes to compensate for a few Democrats who oppose it on religious grounds. Democrats hold a 32-30 majority.

Paterson has been a vocal proponent of gay marriage, and has continued to champion the issue.

One of his first acts upon becoming governor was to recognize out-of-stage marriages as legal and binding.

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