The same-sex marriage bill, which passed the Assembly for the third
time last night with virtually no debate and a 88-51 vote, is teed up
and ready to be moved to the floor of the Senate for debate.

We're told that the bill is now certain to come to the floor sometime
after the DRP ((Deficit Reduction Package)) passes... But whether it
has the 32 votes necessary to pass is anyone's guess.

Elizabeth Benjamin, NY Daily News

It seems like it will finally happen.  It could have happened six
months ago, until the New York State Senate became a circus act, and
it could have happened weeks ago, when Governor Paterson first called
the legislature back into special session.

I'll believe that it passed only when I see it in writing, but others
are more optimistic.  See why below.

From the same source:

One Senate Democratic source expressed confidence, saying:

"We said from the start that we weren't going to take it up until
we had the votes to pass it, and we're taking it up today."

And according to some obscure tweeter by the name of Markos Moulitsas, which I just saw reported on another diary

The good news? Today, the NY Senate will pass the gay marriage bill.
The votes are there.

Passage would be a continuation of the uplifting reversal of equal
rights progress that has occurred since it hit bottom on election day
in Maine: Washington State, elections of gay officials in Atlanta, the
equal marriage rights vote in Washington DC yesterday, court cases
undermining DOMA, even passage of a law protecting some rights for gays
in Utah.

But it would be far more than that.  A state representing more than 6%
of the entire population of the United States would suddenly have
equal marriage rights, making the issue more and more difficult to
ignore on a national level.  New Jersey politicians, now hiding behind
their own shadows -- afraid to vote on the issue -- would come under
probably overwhelming pressure to have a vote.  Certainly momentum
would build in Congress for a vote on a bill currently under
consideration extending benefits to same-sex couples, and calls for
votes on DADT and DOMA would increase.

The one thing it would be unlikely to do is push California to vote on
repealing Proposition 8 in 2010, since almost all the major
organizations in the state working for repeal have concluded that it
is far better to have than campaign in 2012.  At this point, unless
both NY and NJ pass equal marriage rights, and the polls take a
statistically significant shift in favor of same-sex marriage, I
unfortunately have to concur.

Of course there's still a good chance of defeat; no one has ever put
together a list of the 31 NY State Senators who are to vote for equal
marriage rights, thereby ensuring its passage (assuming the Lt.
Governor, a Paterson appointee, breaks the tie in favor).

Defeat would be a bummer, but it's a risk that's well worth taking.
Not doing anything is just about as bad as a defeat, and the upside
of victory should be significant.

According to the article I cited above, the debate, and the vote, should be televised here.  And there may be updates at the Albany Project.

Update: New York Times article just appeared

Update: Debate on bill now happening: http://www.nysenate.gov/...
Senator Ruben Diaz, opponent, now speaking with forked tongue.

Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., the chamber's most outspoken opponent to gay marriage, has the floor. He just accused Senate President Malcolm Smith of "treason" for breaking his promise and allowing the bill to come to the floor.  Benjamin

Update:  Senator Eric Adams excoriating Ruben Diaz.  Reading a list of states that sold blacks on the open market.  Reading texts that
supported denials of interracial marriage.  YEAH!!!!!!!

Update: Senator Valesky, noting that religion has nothing to do with this issue, as it pertains to state law.  He will support, and was previously uncommitted.

Update: Senator Espada, majority leader.  "A vote of conscience."

Update: Senator Serrano.  "History has proved extending civil rights further will make us stronger."

Update: Senator Hassell-Thompson. Undecided. Oldest brother was gay.  Wow, an amazing story.  Must be voting yes!  YES!!

Update: Senator Johnson.  "Martin Luther King smiling down on us today from above."

Update: Senator Smith, President Pro Tempore.  "When you experienced discrimination, it hurt."  "The world was supposed to come to and end when I was given civil rights.  We're all still here."

Update: Senator Duane.  (to close).  Is debate ending?

Brace yourself. Here comes the vote.

Sen. Tom Duane is closing the debate, urging his colleagues who might be leaning toward "no" to reconsider, saying: "There is still time to feel my gratitude in its fullness."

Not a single Republican member has said a word during the more than two hours that this debate has lasted.


Senator Smith mentioned 35 votes.  Apparently the Lt. Governor is not in Albany and there is some question whether he can cast a tie-breaking vote in this case.  That means we need 32 votes...

Update:  Duane still rambling.  Finally talking about something significant -- internment camps, Chinese immigrant discrimination.  Wouldn't we want to do it differently?  Let's not have to do it over. Mentioning Harvey Milk.

Update: Debate is closed.  Sound stopped.  No idea what is happening.  Request for slow roll call, whatever that is. Apparently they will vote very soon.

Update:  Here we go.  Adams Yes.  Cannot here the yesses and nos. Completely useless.  No idea what is happening.

Update: Vote done. No sound. 24-38.  Lost.  Badly.  Amazing.

Originally posted to jpmassar on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:04 AM PST.


Equal marriage rights in NY

76%64 votes
4%4 votes
19%16 votes

| 84 votes | Vote | Results

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