Democrat-Led Assembly Passes NY Gay Marriage Bill; Measure Must Still Clear Senate
ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York’s Democrat-led Assembly has passed a bill to legalize gay marriage and a critical vote by the state Senate could take place this week if the chamber’s Republican majority brings the measure to the floor.
The Assembly passed the Marriage Equality Act Wednesday night by a vote of 80-63.
Assemblyman Charles Lavine of Long Island said Wednesday he believes his chamber’s approval of gay marriage means that somewhere America’s founding fathers “have smiles on their faces.”
But Assemblyman Dov Hikind of Brooklyn said gay marriage is wrong in the eyes of God.
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Meanwhile, Republican state senators who are key to the future of gay marriage in New York have took a break from their closed-door debate on the issue.
That will delay a possible vote on a legalization bill, although the Senate could still act on Thursday or Friday. The Senate session ends on Monday.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said after a three-hour session Wednesday that no decisions have been made to even send the bill to the floor.
“We will continue to conference the issue tomorrow,” Skelos said.
It remains unknown if there are enough GOP senators bucking the conference position and supporting legalization.
WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell With The Latest Developments
Senate Republicans led an effort to easily defeat a similar bill in 2009.
But enough Democratic and Republican senators have announced changes in their votes that there may now be a tie in the chamber.
At least two remain undecided.
Gay marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C.
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