Finally, it seems like marriage equality in New York will see a vote today. The vote has been held up over wrangling on other issues and debate over language regarding religious exemptions in the bill.
Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island), who remains undecided, said that they are “close on language that I believe satisfactorily addresses the issue.”
A total of 32 votes are necessary to pass the marriage equality bill. As of right now, 31 senators publicly support the bill, including two Republicans. Only one Democrat is opposed. However, it has been reported that there are additional Republicans who have privately communicated their intent to vote for the bill as well.
“There should definitely be a vote up or down,” said Republican Sen. Greg Ball. “We live in a democracy.”
Other Republican senators say they expect a vote because of concerns that they may otherwise be called back for a special session:
“I see it coming to the floor,” said a Republican senator. “People who don’t understand the process are thinking, ‘Don’t bring it up and it will go away for a year.’”
If they block the bill and head home to their districts, the senator said, the governor would likely order them back to Albany for a special session and demand that they take up the measure.
More updates as they come.