The marriage equality debate in New York state was heightened today in the state senate and assembly while representatives and senators considered their positions on the issue and discussed whether they would bring the marriage equality bill to a vote.
Senate members participated in a four-hour conference meeting in Albany, which concluded with an announcement from majority leader Dean Skelos (right) that the senate was unsure of whether the bill would go to a vote. He said that discussion on the issue would continue on Thursday. He said:
The issue has not been resolved and I will respect the decision of the conference once it's made, but the conference has asked me to keep the confidence of the conference at this point, which I intend to do.
32 votes are required for passage of the measure. 29 Democrats - all but the fiercely antigay Ruben Diaz - have announced their support - and 2 Republicans have also pledged support.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo submitted the marriage equality bill for a vote on Tuesday. His bill includes exemptions for religious organizations who oppose same-sex marriage and do not want to perform them in their own institutions, which has been a sticking point with opponents of marriage equality.