The NY Post has some interesting news on marriage equality in New York, as the clock ticks down to the end of the session. The measure could come up at any time this week. Expect things to happen swiftly and with short notice.
A strategy session is being called today in Albany, the NYT reports:
The meeting — to be attended by City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Senator Thomas K. Duane, among others — will be held amid a swirl of last-minute activity on the issue, ranging from a new batch of statewide television commercials to local lobbying pushes in favor of gay marriage and against it.
The secret session is expected to tackle the two biggest questions hanging over the issue for gay marriage advocates: whether Republican leaders, who control the Senate, will allow a vote to be taken, and, if they do, whether there is sufficient bipartisan support to pass a bill.
Lawmakers and others say privately that Mr. Cuomo is assuring Republicans that at least 28 of the 30 Democrats in the Senate are prepared to vote for a bill. And advocates for gay marriage say they have fresh indication from the Cuomo administration that the governor intends to advance a bill in coming days.
Josh Vlasto, a spokesman for Mr. Cuomo, said the governor and advocates have not made any decision about how to proceed with legislation. "If the group decides to move a bill, the governor will move the bill. That decision has not been made yet," said Mr. Vlasto.
Mr. Vlasto denied that the governor has made any assurances to Republicans. "As we've said from the beginning, we're not discussing vote-counting in public," he said.
Here's more from the New York Post:
Seven or more Senate Republicans have signaled Gov. Cuomo that they're ready to legalize same-sex marriage, more than enough to put the controversial and historic measure over the top this week, The Post has learned.
A highly knowledgeable Senate insider said yesterday that "far more of the [GOP] members are in play than anyone realizes, including some surprising names from conservative upstate areas."
Among the unexpected potential Senate Republican "yes" votes, insiders say, are Kemp Hannon of Nassau County, Charles Fuscillo of Suffolk County, Betty Little of Glens Falls, Andrew Lanza of Staten Island, Greg Ball of Putnam County, James Alesi of Rochester, and Roy McDonald of Rensselaer County — all of whom helped defeat gay marriage when the vote was held in December 2009.
Lawmakers are, as usual, wary of timing, going public:
Some pro-gay-marriage GOPers have confessed that they're afraid to go public because they don't want to wind up being the crucial 32nd vote needed for passage, a potentially suicidal political position.
"Several senators who say they'll vote for marriage equality want a larger group to join with them, to give them cover, so they won't be blamed alone for passing it and wind up being defeated next year," said a well-known Republican working to line up GOP votes. Cuomo worked the weekend trying to ease Republican concerns by delivering all but one Senate Democrat for the proposal.
That would add three more supporters to the 26 Democrats backing the measure, meaning only four Republican votes would be needed to assure a two-vote majority for passage.
GOP Swings Both Ways on Marriage Bill [ny post]