If gay marriage is legalized in N.Y. 'Republicans will be responsible because they control the chamber.'
-- Maggie Gallagher
ALBANY, N.Y. (BP)--With the legislative session in overtime and the votes of a handful of Republican state senators up for grabs, the fate of a "gay marriage" bill that would make New York the largest and most influential state to redefine marriage remained uncertain Tuesday.
The dynamics of the issue were changing every few hours, and it was possible the body could pass the bill Wednesday or even adjourn without voting on it.
It has put the GOP-led Senate in a dilemma. Although nearly every member of the 32-member caucus opposes it, the bill is one vote shy of passage, and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo -- popular in the state -- is exerting considerable pressure on the body. The Democratic-controlled Assembly already passed the bill.
Republicans control the chamber, 32-30. Two Republicans and 29 Democrats support the bill, which needs 32 votes to pass. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos left a meeting with Cuomo Tuesday saying the men had worked out agreements on unrelated issues -- rent regulations and local property taxes, among them -- but had not come to an agreement on "gay marriage," the Albany Times-Union reported. Skelos has said some members of his caucus want the bill to have more religious freedom protections. The GOP caucus was scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. Eastern.
Republicans took control of the chamber in 2010, but opponents of the bill warn the GOP will lose control in 2012 if it allows a vote on the bill and it passes. GOP state Sen. Greg Ball -- who is undecided -- said calls and letters from his district are about 60 percent opposed to the bill, Politico.com reported.
The National Organization for Marriage has pledged to spend $1 million in 2012 to defeat any GOP senator who supports the bill.
"It's a really bad idea for the Republican majority in the Senate to be doing [New York] Mayor Bloomberg and Andrew Cuomo's bidding on this," National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher said in a TV interview Monday. "I think it's going to be a political disaster for the Republican Party in New York."
If it passes, Gallagher said, "Republicans will be responsible because they control the chamber."
Bill opponents said no amount of religious freedom protections would be sufficient to gain their support. For instance, they said that whatever amendments are added to the bill, nothing would prevent "gay marriage" from being discussed as normal in elementary schools, as it has in some other states where it is legal. Read More