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Fate of marriage equality in New York rests with eight undecided Senators

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
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The fate of marriage equality in New York rests with a small group of undecided state Senators — if and when a bill comes to the Senate floor for a vote — according to a survey by Gannett’s Albany news bureau.

Eight senators indicated they are undecided on whether they would support same-sex marriage legislation if the bill comes to a vote, the survey of all 62 senators found.

The measure would need 32 votes for adoption in the Senate, and 26 senators, all Democrats, indicated they would back the bill. Twenty-eight senators expressed opposition — possibly leaving the fate of the measure with the eight undecided lawmakers, which include five Republicans and three Democrats.

Gay rights advocates and conservative groups are heavily lobbying the undecided lawmakers, as well as other potential fence sitters, before the legislative session ends June 20.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are among those lobbying to pass a marriage equality bill this legislative session.

Bloomberg wants an “up or down” vote that would put Senators on record, but Cuomo has said he want to wait until he is sure there are enough Senate votes to pass a bill.

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