News (USA)

NY Assembly passes marriage equality bill; Senate undecided on allowing a vote

NY Assembly passes marriage equality bill; Senate undecided on allowing a vote

The New York state Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage while Senate Republicans debated over whether to let the measure come to the floor for a vote.

The measure passed 80-63, the lowest margin in the four times it has been approved by the Assembly since 2007.

“It feels different this time because I’m very hopeful it will pass the Senate and become law this year,” said Assembly bill sponsor Daniel O’Donnell (D-Manhattan), one of a handful of gay state lawmakers.

The New York Times reports advocates are in a full-court press to gain the one vote needed to pass the measure before Monday, the scheduled end of this year’s legislative session.

Thirty-one members of the 62-seat Senate have now publicly backed the legislation, including two Republicans who have emerged in recent days to say they would vote for same-sex marriage.

Republican senators met for four hours Wednesday to discuss the marriage issue, and, as they emerged, they said they had not reached a consensus about bringing the bill to a vote.

The Republican-controlled chamber, where gay marriage was defeated two years ago by a wide margin, is seen as the last obstacle to the measure, which is strongly supported by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Cuomo submitted the bill on Tuesday and is expected to quickly sign it into law if the Senate gives it final legislative approval by Monday.

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