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NY Marriage Equality Update: No Word on Vote Yet, Lots of Links

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There has been no decision made to vote on a marriage equality bill yet in the New York Senate. Advocates on both sides of the issue continue to fill the hallways of the state house. 

Keep watching Towleroad for updates. And CALL YOUR SENATORS. Info here.

Watch a video shot in the hallway, AFTER THE JUMP...

AP: "Republican senators went into a closed-door caucus Wednesday morning, but the gay marriage bill wasn't on the immediate agenda as they took up other major issues including a property tax cap, New York City rent control and public college tuition increases. Outside the Senate conference, members of several congregations sang hymns including 'Amazing Grace' alternating with 'God Bless America' in peaceful demonstrations by those for and against same-sex marriage."

Senator Majority Leader Dean Skelos says Cuomo has "changed his tune" on the marriage vote: "Yesterday, Governor Cuomo said New Yorkers 'are entitled' to see their legislators vote on whether to legalize same-sex marriage. This morning, Republican State Senate Leader Dean Skelos said that’s different from what the governor initially wanted. 'I think the governor at one time said he didn’t want a vote on marriage unless it was going to pass,' Skelos said, walking into his office this morning. 'So, he’s changed his tune. But we haven’t conferenced that issue, and at some point, we will.'"

NOM preemptively declares victory, then pulls statement.

Exgay The "ex-gays" have arrived to fight for the anti-equality side. More info on the guy in the photo here.

Conservative Party chair Mike Long is lobbying GOP Senators: "The influential party leader sent a letter to the Republican majority in the Senate which can pass or kill a gay marriage bill that would be a major national win for the cause."

Senator Ruben Diaz and Long have penned a threat to Republican lawmakers who support same-sex marriage in the National Review today.

Village Voice: Diaz Family Values. "While Rubén Díaz Sr. lobs bombs against gay rights, son Rubén Jr. and lesbian granddaughter Erica run for cover."

A vote seems inevitable to at least one anonymous Republican: "I don't know how you stop a vote from happening," one Senate Republican said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali has joined the crowds in Albany today to lobby for marriage equality: “Certainly we ought to give people the opportunity to do what they want, when they want, particularly involving their own personal beliefs,” Batali said. “My pitch is that it’s unassailable and immutable to have the choice to how to live your own life. Freedom and justice for all. It’s pretty clear.” 

Watch an interview from the state house hallways, plus a Thomas Roberts interview with Senator Greg Ball (who loves attention), AFTER THE JUMP...

Thomas Roberts interviews Sen. Greg Ball:

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  1. "Conscience" is the new name for bigotry.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 22, 2011 1:13:14 PM

  2. Skelos is saying Cuomo changed his tune?? Skelos was the one who originally pledged a "conscious vote" on this bill and is now the one holding it up!

    I really wish we could hear a little more from our LGBT orgs on what is really happening. For nearly a week now they've been harping on about how the GOP just needs a few more religious protections and yet the language itself never materializes! Why can't we at least see the language??

    It seems like we're trusting Cuomo to get this done and to get the right language for us. Will there be a step in the process where we -- the community -- get to chime in on this language? Are the LGBT orgs going to leave this decision purely in Cuomo's hands? Perhaps Cuomo believes the votes are there irregardless of language, but it seems the GOP has taken the stance of "we decide the language, or else there's no vote."

    If Cuomo now believes the votes are not there or Skelos isn't going to bring this to a vote, he needs to let us know that NOW so we at least have the option to put pressure the GOP ourselves before the end of session. Speaking of which, will Cuomo even keep the session open if marriage equality is the last bill left on the table?

    I just don't know what to make from the near silence from the leadership on our side.

    Posted by: Jollysocks | Jun 22, 2011 1:15:01 PM

  3. Why do journalists not simply ask Greg Ball point blank to stop waffling and just say yes or no ?? He avoids answering the same question. Just yes or no...which way are you going to vote?

    Posted by: paul | Jun 22, 2011 1:17:13 PM

  4. I hope it passes.

    And if it doesn't I hope there is a riot!

    Posted by: SteveC | Jun 22, 2011 1:19:25 PM

  5. @Paul: Because he's clamoring for attention, and being undecided prolongs the attention. In any case, he's voting "no."

    Posted by: Bruno | Jun 22, 2011 1:26:42 PM

  6. Greg Ball is just another attention whore looking for his 15 minutes. He obviously is a NO vote and it seems that majority leader Dean Skelos is looking to weasel his way out of bring the bill to the floor for a vote.

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Jun 22, 2011 1:28:13 PM

  7. Another boringly tedious article from another liberal rag with no spine courtesy of The Voice this time.

    Oooh, an article about Diaz that says NOTHING we don't know but yet fails to mention that this man is a thug that was done for serious drug dealing. Can you imagine the power this corrupt gangster wields in the bronx in the name of the lord? What a sinister man. And a really dumb granddaughter with her pussy article in the NY times that she knew would never be read by any Latinos.

    And surely an expose on NOM needs to be done? Have these guys not been systematically involved in making sure you have NO marriage rights ANYWHERE in the US?

    Posted by: Rowan | Jun 22, 2011 1:29:18 PM

  8. NOM refuses to provide details as to where it gets its funding. My suspicion is the Koch brothers and other wealthy republicans as well as some from the catholic archdioceses across the country. Let's not forget, the NY Archdiocese donated $500,000 to defeat Maine's marriage equality law.

    If it doesn't come for a vote this session, you can bet it's deliberate to give the GOP cover. Next year is a general election year. I doubt if we'll get the same support from 2 or more republicans. Getting re-elected is more important.

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Jun 22, 2011 1:44:29 PM

  9. Given the apparent resolution of all the other hot-button issues (rent stabilization, property taxes, tuition hikes), I'm having a hard time imagining what pressure Cuomo can bring on the Senate Republicans to force a vote. And I'm having a hard time imagining what is in it for Skelos and the Republicans to have a vote at all. I hope I'm wrong.

    Posted by: Glenn | Jun 22, 2011 1:50:17 PM

  10. Perhaps I spoke too soon . . . they are now saying there is new language out there in the form of a chapter amendment. Hopefully we will be seeing this language soon (and more hoping it's nothing too intolerable). Silver is saying that he finds the new language "agreeable" and that the Assembly will vote on the new language if the Senate does

    Posted by: Jollysocks | Jun 22, 2011 1:58:12 PM

  11. One recent tweet: "Republican working the #gaymarriage vote insists a firm 32 in Sen GOP conference, refuses to reveal tipping point. Still no word on vote."

    And another: "Silver says he's seen draft chapter amendment on #samesexmarriage"

    And another: "Silver also says it would be "unfortunate" if Skelos wants to "slow things down" by voting on some issues like the cap and rent."

    Things moving our way?

    Posted by: Bruno | Jun 22, 2011 1:58:42 PM

  12. nom may have released then pulled its self congratulatory statement, but i wonder if perhaps they have been tipped off and simply let the article slip out too soon. i think they may have pulled it off again, but if they have, i suspect the public will not take it well. they are no longer representing the majority, and the public is really getting sick of hearing about what most believe is a forgone, and fair, conclusion.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Jun 22, 2011 2:06:15 PM

  13. Religious protections ??? Give Me a break ! Who protects the "people" from religion ? Where do we go to get People protections ? Religion and Corporations want ALL their rights and OURS as well , as if there is a finite number of rights .. religion wants the rights to choke hold humanity as a whole ..

    Posted by: MarkBoston | Jun 22, 2011 2:10:09 PM

  14. So what would happen if Cuomo telegraphed that he was going to stall (not sign) any of the recent bills pushed through by the republican extortionists until this was cleared for a floor vote?

    Posted by: acorlando | Jun 22, 2011 2:10:57 PM

  15. Anyone else think that there will be riots if this doesn't pass? (assuming they allow a vote). By stringing it along and drawing it out so long they've inadvertently caused very high tension and emotion. I easily see a Stonewall 2 on the horizon should there not be a 32nd vote. If there is I just pray the mobs target the senate buildings and the "religious" homophobes, rather than private communities and places of business.

    Posted by: BigBlonde | Jun 22, 2011 2:12:08 PM

  16. @Bigblonde: That scenario seems more likely to me if the Republicans don't allow a vote than if they do and it fails 31-31. But I'm not sure it would happen even then.

    Posted by: Bruno | Jun 22, 2011 2:16:34 PM

  17. No, there will not be riots. Next question.

    Posted by: Glenn | Jun 22, 2011 2:25:59 PM

  18. The stupidity of people always amaze me. Ball talks about the 'hate from the left' being the same as the 'hate from the right'. It IS NOT the same. The 'right' hate gays because we don't do what they want us to do and obey their orders, while the left hates people who try to force them into submission and basically want to prevent them from having full civil liberties and/or kill them.

    Posted by: steve talbert | Jun 22, 2011 2:29:36 PM

  19. checkout capitaltonight:

    silver, from ny state assembly, has seen language for an amendment w/r/t the so called religious protections. he finds that language acceptable. cap-ton says its a chapter amendment. apparently the language came from a 3 way with Cuomo and Republican Sen Leader Skelos. Silver says the assembly is going to wait for the senate to pass it first.

    i'm thinking if there is language written, with any luck it had input from a fence sitter. skelos has reportedly been a firm no, but maybe this language gives someone like greg ball enough slack to vote yes. also hope its not something terribly hateful in there. this could be the whole ball game: equality looks like it might pass before pride. no champagne popping yet, of course. but i'm more optimistic than i was last night and this morning.

    Posted by: billy | Jun 22, 2011 2:32:07 PM

  20. I can't imagine stronger exceptional language religions without creating an inherently unequal status for same-sex marriages (sorry to use that wording, but it fits here). If a straight married couple is allowed the right to sue upon being refused a marriage certificate by a clerk, or refused service by a wedding caterer, based on their religious-based bigotry, how can it be equality if gays are denied the right to sue.
    I don't see how they can thread this needle.

    Posted by: Greg | Jun 22, 2011 2:43:09 PM

  21. @Bruno you have a link for the tweet regarding a firm 32? If I had to guess, I would say it is Grisanti is the 32.

    Posted by: searunner | Jun 22, 2011 2:47:25 PM

  22. This just in from Capitol Confidential (who along with Capital Tonight have been providing excellent coverage on this issue):

    Skelos also hinted that his conference and Cuomo are close on amendments to the same-sex marriage bill that would further clarify protections for religious organizations. “My colleagues and [the governor's] counsel’s office are looking very closely at religious protections and I think they will conclude that. Once we have final legislation we’ll discuss it in conference,” Skelos said.

    For the first time, Silver said he saw a draft of the amendments, and is agreeable on the concepts. He said a vote could be held tonight “if the Senate says they’re doing it and they agree on it.”

    Posted by: Jollysocks | Jun 22, 2011 3:00:10 PM

  23. @searunner: Here's the link...!/CapitalTonight/status/83583878098464768

    I wasn't quite sure what they were trying to say but I think it means there's a 32nd willing voter.

    Posted by: Bruno | Jun 22, 2011 3:04:31 PM

  24. As long as these 'born again' evangelical politicians keep getting elected, theocracy will prevail. We, as a nation, need to stop this! We abide by a constitution, not the church!

    Posted by: CB | Jun 22, 2011 3:14:55 PM

  25. @Bruno, thanks for the link!

    I guess it could be about the charter amendment language, but that wouldn't make sense as there are 31 public supporters of the bill.

    Posted by: searunner | Jun 22, 2011 3:33:42 PM

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