Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos Says No Gay Marriage Vote Friday

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — After a closed door meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo Friday, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos emerged to say that there would be no vote at least until Monday.

The legislative session is still set for Albany to end on Monday. However, it could be extended for days or a week or even longer as issues such as rent control and property taxes remain unresolved.

On the streets of Midtown, some that spoke with 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck said they were still hopeful the bill would pass.

“I’d be ecstatic about it.  I think that gay people should have the same rights that everybody else does.  I don’t think that marriage is a religious rite.  I think it’s a life right,” one man said.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans said protecting religious groups that won’t perform gay weddings or offer services to gay couples was a major factor in their refusal so far to bring same-sex marriage to a vote.

1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports: Gov. Andrew Cuomo Continues To Lobby For Same-Sex Marriage

Gov. Cuomo’s bill already has some protections. No clergy would be forced to preside over a gay marriage.

Cuomo has been lobbying individual senators in a quest to secure what appears to be one more vote needed to legalize gay marriage and deliver a major win for the national effort.

The Democrat met with three Republican senators in his Capitol office Thursday.

“The meetings are ongoing,” said Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto, putting no end date to the closed-door sessions.

“I’m still a ‘no,’ I’m still talking to people, so I’ll let that speak for itself,” said Republican Sen. Andrew Lanza of Staten Island after leaving Cuomo’s office Thursday night.

He said he continues to seek further protections for religious groups opposed to gay marriage so they can’t be prosecuted for discrimination if they refuse to allow their property or services to be used during gay marriage ceremonies.

Lanza wouldn’t say if he believes the bill will get a floor vote.

Republican Sens. Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie and Kemp Hannon of Long Island attended the hour-long meeting but would not comment on it. Saland has said he’s undecided.

Skelos did not say when negotiations might end or when the conference could vote to send the bill up for a vote, or kill it. The Democrat-led Assembly has already passed it.

Nationally, attention has been riveted on New York state since early in the week when Cuomo announced he had won more votes in favor of the bill.

“It creates a lot of anxiety while you’re waiting to find out if you’ll be granted the right that your family, friends and even your own parents took for granted,” said Ron Zacchi of Marriage Equality USA at the Capitol in Albany.

Social media sites buzzed with meeting-by-meeting updates by advocates.

The bill has been gaining the support of celebrities including Lady Gaga who took to Twitter and Facebook urging her “little monsters” to call state senators and help legalize gay marriage.

“I am so proud to be a New Yorker! One step closer to equality and toward the legalization of Gay Marriage in America. Full Equality. Unity,” Lady Gaga wrote on the social networking sites.

She even included the phone number to Sen. Mark Grisanti and told her fans to leave him a message and ask to vote yes for the Marriage Equality Act.

Earlier, Senate Democrat leader John Sampson of Brooklyn accused the Republican majority of being more concerned with protecting its majority power and its conservative voter base than approving what he calls a civil right supported by most New Yorkers.

“This is what the public wants,” said Sampson, who as the former majority leader brought a similar gay marriage bill to the floor in 2009 only to see it defeated.

“This vote should come to the floor irrespective of political consequences because I think that is what the concern is at this point and time,” Sampson said. “Who do you represent?”

Republican Sen. John DeFrancisco of Onondaga County in a separate interview said such a political concern is a factor in whether he will vote to bring the bill to the floor, where Democrats and two Republicans — Sens. James Alesi of Monroe County and Roy McDonald of Saratoga County — appear to have brought the issue to within one vote of passage.

“If you are a member of a team, and you want to decide as a team what the best thing is to do for the conference as a whole, then you should do it as a team,” DeFrancisco said.

“I can understand anxiety as a true struggle of conscience,” said Jason Ganns, 27, an Albany accountant who is gay and lobbying for same-sex marriage. “I don’t necessarily understand the political anxiety. It could cost a Republican his or her job, but I don’t see the logic of fighting for a job that you are not doing.”

Do you support passage of the gay marriage bill? Sound off in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


    GOD defined marriage a long time ago— no reason for Albany to allow a small vocal group of sexually immoral people to change that—and last I checked sexual immorality was not a civil right—-

  • Funbags

    Send all the gays to long island and build a big wall so they cant get back into NYC. And send lady gaga with them

  • Rodin

    G’nite. Can’t deal with this idiocy anymore. Maybe in the morning after a good night’s sleep.


  • John on LI

    This is quite complicated, because there are somewhat legitimate arguments on both sides. I believe most people that are against gay marriage are not against gay unions. Gays have the right to be join with whomever they wish, but to have this union blessed by God is not acceptable. God is Holy and we cannot allow for what He created as a Holy union between man and woman to be redefined. With this said, heterosexuals have not done such an outstanding job of living by the values of this Holy union; nonetheless, we cannot allow for what God ordained as Holy to be defiled. I’m sorry; I’m okay with Gay unions as long as we are not corrupting God’s Holy institution.

    • Dale Auburn

      You’ve outlined the RELIGIOUS reason for not allowing gay marriage.

      Now please provide a GOVERNMENTAL reason – i.e. SPECIFY how gay marriage will increase government’s costs, reduce government’s revenues, or impede governmental administration.

      • Rodin

        I’m liking you more and more, whether you’re ‘Dale’ as in Evans or ‘Dale’ as in Carnegie. There are not a lot of intelligent, informed people in this forum. The ‘faithful’ never are for they rely, not on reason but on dogma.

    • Rodin

      No, John, quite simple: basic human rights vs. bogus claims of religious entitlement in the name of a phantom in the sky.

      See? Easy.

  • littlestar

    Srew you too ! Why didn”t you block the person who threatened to rip out my throat two days ago ? This gay person.

    • Rodin

      FADINGstar, I would love to rip out your throat as well and I’m straight. I jut hate blather, bigotry and ignorance.

      PS – Check your spelling. You’re going public.

      • littlestar

        Just proves that you people are violent very dangerous radicals.

      • Rodin

        In defense of human rights, of course. THere is no greater violence than systematic oppression.

        The United States of America has never seen a year without war and has the greatest rate of violent citizen on citizen crime in the world. There has never been an American president who was not a “war president.” no matter W’s claims. Our nation was born out of violence and thrives on fear and ignorance and you talk about “you people?”


        “Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”
        French philosopher and writer of the Enlightenment
        (1713 – 1784)

  • Dale Auburn

    There we have it…

    I’ve asked several times, yet nobody has been willing to identify a SPECIFIC heterosexual couple whose marriage has suffered SPECIFIC damage (financial or otherwise) because of a SPECIFIC gay couple’s marriage. I take this as PROOF that the whole “protecting marriage” argument is a crock.

    There, I said it.

    • Rodin

      I see we agree. I will continue to make amends for my previous comment. I shoulda stayed Catholic.


  • David

    Since we pay the same taxes as heterosexuals, we should receive all the same rights, privileges and benefits as they do. Marriage should not be a special right based on whether or not you sleep with the opposite sex.

    And what is this about more “religious” protections? There are “churches” that support racism. What if such a church decided they did not want to marry Italians? Should they have the right to discriminate? I’d venture to say that the majority of New Yorkers would say no. Yet, for some reason, those churches which don’t like gay people feel that they should have carte blanche to discriminate. Next it’s florists who don’t want to serve gay customers, then what? Phone companies whose “religious belief” is that they don’t want to put through calls for gay taxpayers? At some point, we have to stop allowing bigotry to be classified as a “religious belief.” I agree with churches not being forced to marry gay people–the rest is too much pandering to anti-gay activists who at the end of the day won’t support equality anyway, no matter how much you “protect” their discrimination!

    • Jay Mora

      Another hypocrite with twisted logic. If sexual preference were not a choice then pedophiles and rapists are “born” that way also?

      • Rodin

        @ Jay Moron –

        No, pedophiles have to go through priesthood first to qualify. The “twisted logic” here is yours, based only on ignorance and bigotry.

    • Jay Mora

      Your logic is incorrect. Italians didn’t make a choice to become Italians. If I wanted to discriminate against thieves, rapists, pedophiles, drug addicts, etc. would I be wrong? If a florist does not want to serve an immoral person they should have the right not to serve them.

      • Rodin

        Your ‘information’ is incorrect.

        Go back to the books and forward to the 21st century. Sexual preference is NOT a CHOICE by any scientific standard.

        RELIGION, however, IS.


    • Rodin

      Gays pay taxes, straights pay taxes, CHURCHES AND RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS DON’T.

      If they want to be counted, PAY FOR PLAY.

      • Rodin

        Chase, if your claim is true, is taking advantage of deliberately formulated loopholes that favour banking interests. Religious institutions are EXEMPT. BIG DIFFERENCE.

        “Damn Rodin What are you trying to prove I just don’t know…”

        Your ignorance.

        “… intent on defying the laws of both NATURE and the BABLE.”

        No, lies and, again, your blatant ignorance.

        LiTTLEstar indeed! Maybe FADINGstar.

      • littlestar

        Neither does Chase Manhatten Bank, some folks say. Oh no ! That’s simply Chase now. You won’t ansewer me Rodin ( sorry for the mouse thing ) . Damn Rodin What are you trying to prove I just don’t know ? Why are you so intent on defying the laws of both NATURE and the BABLE ? ? ? What kind of worm is up there ? May I suggest carpentry ? Protection and civil rights exist for these people, and for someone who grew up in the Village, thank Jesus ! ! ! We are not created cequal…. it is a lie !

  • Peter

    Marriage between a man and a woman? Ha! I love to see divorce court on tv and you see the ugliness between such unions.

  • Anthony

    I don’t know why there is even a discussion about this. In it’s simplest form sex is about reproduction. Reproduction is about anatomy, hers fits over his. No amount of screaming or lobbying is ever going to change biology. Government created the problem when they made being married lucrative. As usual, they should have stayed out of it. I can’t speak for all religions, by the way, i’m not devout, but the last time I checked marrage happens in a place of worship. Anything else is a civil ceremony. Stop calling it marrage, give them their civil unions so they can get the perks and be done with this nonsense. This is a very noisey group as a whole. Give them something and maybe they’ll turn their attention to something more important then their sexuallity and things might start getting done that everyone can benefit from

    • Dale Auburn

      Why are elderly couples allowed to marry? They’re unable to reproduce (because of their age), so your logic should prohibit them from marrying.

      • Anthony

        Most elderly couples get married in front of a Judge, CIVIL ceremony. My Grandfather did it at 92. Wouldn’t want, in my worst nightmare, to walk in on that marrage being consumated.. My point was simple and I intend to keep it that way, check the equiptment. You see any other animal but Humans on the face of this planet where Males are with Males and Females are with Females. No. Want to know why? That mutated little gene that determines sexual preference doesn’t exist for long. The Male that humps another Male or your leg for that matter, doesn’t reproduce

    • Rodin

      “This is a very noisey group as a whole.”

      Anything noisier or more noxious than religious rants?

      • Anthony

        Can’t argue with that. Not a fan of Bible thumpers either. My point was in plain and simple terms, BIOLOGICALLY, like any other animal, Males mate with Females. That’s why we’re here having this discussion. We were conceived by a union of Male and Female, whether it happened in a bed or a test tube is irrelevant

      • Rodin

        Your point is “simple” indeed, or simplistic at best. The fact is that in EVERY SPECIES there is evidence of same sex activity. In humans it’s stabilized at about 10% of the worldwide population.

        “THAT’S why we’re here having this discussion.”

        Check it out. INFORM YOURSELF. THEN comment.

      • Anthony

        I’m simplistic? Argue all you want…can they make babies without the opposite sex? NO !!! End of arguement.

      • Rodin

        End of arguement [sic]?” What argument? That’s an inanity. And “dead people are not alive.”

        “There are those who confuse discourse with vomit.”
        American author and journalist

        … and learn to spell so you don’t make an even bigger fool out of yourself.

  • John

    The Legislators are representatives of the people, I would hope that they are taking the wishes of their constituents when they make the decision. Their decision should have little/nothing to do with their personal views but with those they are representing. Call your Senator and express your view, I have faith , if that was done this would have been passed long before now. Holding up the vote is nothing more than sleek politicians ploy to hold on to a job that they shouldn’t have been elected to in the beginning.

  • KIM

    It’s interesting to note that 1 few weeks ago bloomberg gacve a tearful speeach on gay marriage equality and now cuomo, with other more important tasks at hand, drops all to PUSH for this legislature.

    you cannot tell me this is all in the sincere interetst of gay nyers.
    there is an ulterior motive.
    record breaking unemployment rates and homeless rates, trump this issue any day of the week.

    • Rodin

      “with other more important tasks at hand”

      ANYTHING more important than equal rights for human beings?

      • Rodin

        @ joannie

        WRONG. Without basic “civil rights” there can be nothing else. Protection of “the few” is what “civil rights” is all about.

        I’m so tired of half-baked thinking.

      • joannie

        Yes, jobs, the econmy, homlessness and America’s overall economic standing keeps the US stong to fight for civil rights. So yes, there are MANY more iimportant issues govt. could be addressing than the “civil rights” of the few.

  • Rodin

    @ Dale Auburn

    “I still wonder why opponents refuse to give SPECIFIC details on exactly HOW gay marriage has supposedly ‘harmed’ traditional marriage.”

    Anthony Weiner is straight and in a heterosexual marriage. End of argument.

    • Dale Auburn

      And how has gay marriage caused harm to HIS marriage?

      • Rodin

        APOLOGIES! I misread your comment. Heat-of-the-momemnt error kinda thing. I am chastised.

    • Rodin

      Not my preference but do you?

      People without arguments always resort to insults. Pfft.

  • Jay Mora

    Our government leaders are fighting for the right of sexually perverted people to marry each other, in the meanwhile our homeless, jobless people have no voice. What a shame.

    • Rodin

      “Of all possible sexual perversions, religion is the only one to have ever been scientifically systematized.”

      French poet, novelist and editor and member of the Académie Goncourt
      (1897 – 1982)



  • Michael H.

    If the churches, synagogues and mosques of this nation want to have a say in our politics, they should be forced to pay their share of the taxes. If you want to participate in the system you should have to pay into the system! Revoke the tax exempt status of ANY house of worship that injects itself into our political system!

  • Vik

    Husband and Wife. Any questions?

    • Michael H.

      Yes…by what standards do you base this on?

      When coming up with your answer, keep in mind we are a secular nation.

  • Vik

    Man and Woman. Any questions?

    • Dale Auburn

      Yes. My question is this:

      How does a SPECIFIC gay couple getting married cause SPECIFIC harm to YOUR marriage?

    • Vik

      Man and Husband. Any questions?

  • Dale Auburn

    I still wonder why opponents refuse to give SPECIFIC details on exactly HOW gay marriage has supposedly “harmed” traditional marriage.

    The challenge is quite simple: Just identify a SPECIFIC heterosexual couple whose marriage has suffered SPECIFIC damage (financial or otherwise) because of a SPECIFIC gay couple’s marriage. Oh, and please be SPECIFIC – names, cities, court rulings, links to media coverage.

    I’ll be waiting.

  • Eva Lux

    I voted for THIS??? F*ck the economy, right Andrew?

    • Michael H.

      F*ck equal rights for all, right Eva?

      It’s called multi tasking. If you actually paid attention to what goes on in Albany, you’d know they deal with more than one thing at a time.

  • Rodin

    “Republican Sen. Andrew Lanza of Staten Island … said he continues to seek further protections for religious groups opposed to gay marriage”

    So, do ‘religious groups’ trump human beings?

    From: The Devil’s Dictionary
    “Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.”
    American Author and Humorist


  • Eli

    I wonder if Mayor Bloomberg or other people are bribing the Republican Senators who oppsed the Gay Marriage Bill in the past to change their minds with money. I think this should be investigated.I hope to Republican caucus decides not to bring the vote to the floor as marriage is between a Man & Woman. If this law passaes I hope all of the Republican Senators who fli flopped thier stance to vote it into law will get voted out by their constituents in the next election.

    • Eric

      Eli: If you would spend more time actually learning how to spell and how to reason like an intelligent person, you might actually sound intelligent. Religion should have NOTHING to do with this issue. Grow up!

      • Rodin


        “The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy.” ~ GEORGE WASHINGTON

        Good without gods.

    • Michael H.

      Mayor Bloomberg is promising financial support in the form of campaign contributions and endorsements. It’s called lobbying and it is perfectly legal.

  • Archie Slavetrader

    THIS is why New York taxpayers voted you in Andrew, to lobby for gay marriage. Now you can resign, along with the great and powerful Sheldon Silver.

    • Michael H.

      I voted for Cuomo because he was the lesser of two evils next to Paladino.

      I got way more than I hoped for. Go Andrew!

    • Rodin

      Ditto, Michael.

      It’s all in the name. ‘Slavetraders’ would rather have a fascist like Paladino to further their religious and social agenda of sharia and exclusivity.

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