Endgame Arrives for New York Marriage Equality Vote in Albany

Anticipation for a vote on marriage equality in New York has been building for a week now, and today may be the endgame of those hopes.

D_skelos As always, we'll be following it here, and if the Senate begins debate, we'll let you know.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Senators are concerned they will be called back to Albany for a special session unless they vote:

"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.

At one point this week, a small contingent of Republican senators floated the idea of settling the matter with a voter referendum—a process for which does not currently exist—instead of a legislative vote. Other Republicans, including the Senate leader, Dean Skelos (pictured), shot down the idea, doubting that it would be possible to get Assembly Democrats or the governor to consider such an option.

The governor's office has circulated draft language for amendments to a gay-marriage bill that passed the Assembly last week. Negotiations over the wording of additional legal protections for religious groups were continuing late Wednesday.

One of the undecided Senators, Andrew Lanza of Staten Island, said they may be near a deal on those exemptions:

"We're close on language that I believe satisfactorily addresses the issue," said Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-S.I.), who remains undecided on the issue.

Some senators have said such tweaks could sway them to vote "aye" on same-sex nuptials.

Another undecided, Senator Greg Ball, is calling for a vote, according to Capital Tonight:



  1. Anonymous says

    It’s been so important having the Governor so strongly behind this. Thank you, Andrew Cuomo!

  2. bryan says

    I live in NYC and have been having many sleepless night this week waiting for this. Lets make this happen NY. Call all the senators even if they don’t represent your dist. Their decisions will effect us all.

  3. J says

    So cowardly of the Republican senators who want a referendum. Weren’t they elected to represent us, the people? Isn’t that the point of electing representatives? If most of the state’s electorate is saying go ahead on marriage equality, then voting for it is the right thing to do. Passing this will put everyone who votes yes on the right side of history.

  4. kodiak says

    The repubs are all about protecting religious organizations, as if homosexuals were a real and serious threat to it’s existence. Meanwhile, American religious missionaries and organizations in Uganda are directly responsible for the recent call for the death penalty for gays and lesbians in that country. Amen.

  5. Pete n SFO says

    Greg Ball asked for feedback and I’m sure he got plenty, but then I saw him in the interview posted on this site & it was apparent that he was only concerned with using that same circular-nonsense-logic that they all repeat while justifying inequality.

    I hope they’ve got a back-up plan that doesn’t include this guy.

  6. Robert says

    To those republicans and some democrats who’d prefer us to have civil unions at the federal level….how about if your marriages were downgraded to these unions first and see how you like it? A negative backlash would prove just how unequal they are. NOM’s Mrs. Srivastava a.k.a Maggie Gallagher, would be the first to object I’ve no doubt. So too would Obama. That would clearly debunk the myth once and for all that civil unions are equal.

  7. Bruno says

    I just can’t picture the GOP conference tabling the vote after Ball said that, but I guess we can’t put anything past a group of scared Republicans.

  8. Mark says

    So now religious liberties take priority over the happiness of a group of people. So sick!

    Churches should seriously be shut down. They are no different from KKK cells. They get away with spreading lies, fear, and hate (and, in the process, collect money from brainwashed sheep). And for icing on the cake, they get involved in politics but pay no income taxes whatsoever. Come to think of it, if churches were to have their way, they would have gay people lynched just for being gay.

    This is what makes me feel I’m not part of any community. I make no apology for saying I don’t owe anything to the community because I don’t think the community has been nice to me as a gay man. Community votes to take away marriage rights and funds evil churches. Sick sick sick!!!

  9. Louis says

    I worked for Governor Mario Cuomo in the 1980s. I have never been prouder than today to say that.

  10. Rex says

    It is amazing how some of the posts on this site read. Churches “..are no different than KKK cells.”? Religious missionaries call for death for gays? Some people are paranoid. Do they really think that the straight community wants a dialogue with those sentiments as a starting point?

  11. Mark says


    Churches are no different from KKK cells. That’s a fact. I’ll say it to anyone’s face. If people don’t have the balls to face the truth, then they’re sheep. The brainwashed gays who suck up to the church deserve the oppression they get because they’re stupid, but there’s no reason why I should suffer the same fate.

    Go check the facts Rex. One Gabriel Lawrence was lynched in England a few hundred years ago for having homosexual anal intercourse, that was mandatory punishment handed down from the church. People in Europe used to be burned at the wood stakes just for endorsing science instead of the fairy tales regurgitated at churches. You’re a total idiot if you think churches are any different from KKK cells. What they want is power over people (and to kill or at least oppress anyone that gets in the way of that).