At a rally for of a long-debated measure which would make same-sex marriage legal in New York State Sunday, State Senator Tom Duane appeared fatigued realizing that the end of the regular session in Albany could signal the culmination of an effort that started twenty years ago when he was a City Councilman.
During an interview with the International Business Times, Duane said he and other senators had been negotiating all weekend about the same sex marriage bill and an extension of the now expired rent control law.
I hoping that there will be more Republicans who say publicly that they'll vote yes and I'm going to continue to be out there to continually encourage them to vote yes, Duane said.
Duane couldn't say with certainty if the bill would be formally presented on the floor of the State Senate, Monday.
I don't think anybody could ever say anything about timing in Albany it's never a good match.
The Marriage Equality Act, introduced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last Tuesday says that [s]ame-sex couples should have the same access as others to the protections, responsibilities, rights, obligations, and benefits of civil marriage.
On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said he would not bring Governor Cuomo's bill to the floor citing concerns about religious protections written in the bill.
There is a concern right now as to unintended consequences of some of the religious clauses, carve-outs [and] protections, Skelos said.
Written with the understanding that conservative religious leaders vehemently oppose the measure the bill's language aims to protect religious groups from lawsuits.
[A religious group] shall be deemed to be in its nature distinctly private and therefore, shall not be required to provide accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage, the bill explains.
A refusal by a benevolent organization or a religious corporation ....to provide accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges in connection with section ten-a of this article shall not create a civil claim or cause of action.
Timothy Dolan, the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, who since calling into a Albany radio show to denounce the legislation as an ominous threat, has heightened his rhetoric against the bill.
During Sunday mass at Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Dolan asked his parishioners to join me in asking god's blessing for the sex marriage legislation not to pass.
Dolan insisted his message was to promote the Catholic Church's view of marriage and not to denounce homosexuality.
Marriage is already defined as a lifelong union between one man and one woman in love bringing about children. I don't think it's political to stand up and say let's not tamper with that. You wouldn't want to tamper with those basic principles.
Dolan called the effort by Cuomo and the majority of the Democratic caucus a stampede adding it is a well-choreographed project to get this sacred vocabulary changed.
I'm sorry that the Catholic Church is not aligned with us on this issue but as long as we all the debate the issue civilly he's entitled to his own opinion, Duane said.
All but one Democrat is in support of the same-sex marriage bill, the lone standout state Senator Ruben Diaz Sr, is a Pentecostal minister, and outspoken familiar voice against same sex marriage.
He was forced to resign from the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board, in 1996 when he suggested the Gay Games would spread H.I.V. and promote homosexuality.
Reverend Pat Bumgardner, an Episcopal minister with the Metropolitan Community Church of New York, sought to correct the idea that opposition to same-sex marriage is a believe shared by all clergy members at a rally in Union Square.
God does not answer our prayers for oppression, Rev Bumgardner said adding her parishioner's dialed [state] Senator Skelos' office.
She called on Dolan and Diaz Sr. to get over it and do the right thing.