The clock is ticking on New York‘s legislative session — scheduled to end today — and gay rights advocates are hoping Senate lawmakers will consider a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the Empire state.
Hundreds of raucous demonstrators on both sides of the debate are jamming the halls of the Capitol as Senate Republicans consider whether to vote on the issue.
The Republican lawmakers, who control the chamber, are meeting behind closed doors and could call for a floor vote today. A freshman senator from Western New York, Mark Grisanti, holds the swing vote that could determine the outcome.
Currently, 31 senators, including two Republicans, have publicly stated their support for the bill. Backers need one more vote to pass the measure.
The bill, approved by the state Assembly on Wednesday, has been stalled in the Senate over Republican concerns for protecting religious institutions against potential litigation for refusing to perform same-sex ceremonies.