After days of tumultuous deliberation, New York Senate leaders said the chamber will vote on a bill legalizing gay marriage.
The vote could come shortly, NBC New York reported.
In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said: It has been decided that same sex marriage legislation will be brought to the full Senate for an up or down vote.
The bill moved to the Senate floor after legislative leaders came to an agreement on provisions in a gay marriage bill that would shield religious organizations that refuse to recognize gay marriage, overcoming a central obstacle to the bill getting a vote.
The question of exemptions for religious organizations had emerged as the main impasse in securing a floor vote for the legislation, although the prospects of a vote occuring remained unclear as Senate Republicans continued to discuss the bill in a closed-door meeting. Two Republican senators and all but one Democrat have proclaimed their support for the bill, leaving the measure one vote short of passage. The Democratic-controlled Assembly passed its version of the bill last week.
The entire Senate Republican Conference was insistent that amendments be made to the Governor's original bill in order to protect the rights of religious institutions and not-for-profits with religious affiliations. I appreciate the Governor's cooperation in working with us to address these important issues and concerns, Skelos said.
Republican senators had expressed reservations that religious organizations would face legal action if they refused to provide services to same-sex married couples, from clergy declining to oversee marriages to religiously affiliated charities balking at allowing same-sex couples to adopt.
Supporters of the bill who are anxious to get a vote expressed frustration earlier Friday, saying that Republican lawmakers have been stalling and obstructing the democratic process.
Gay rights supporters have secured legal marriage status in Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa, and the District of Columbia.