New York's Senate is unlikely to call a vote today on a bill to legalize gay marriage as legislators prepare to remain in Albany beyond the scheduled end of the legislative session.
Multiple sources have reported that the GOP leadership do not foresee a vote occuring today. The bill has the declared support of two Republican senators and all but one Democratic senator. That leaves it one vote short of passage, although observers suggest that it would need more than a one-vote margin of support for the majority Republicans to call a vote.
The delay is partially tied into concerns over legislation, as lawmakers debate the extent of exemptions for religous organizations wishing to opt out of performing marriages. Lawmakers are also haggling with Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo, a staunch advocate for gay marriage, over a host of legislative measures including a property tax cap and an extension of rent control rules.
Protestors have flooded the capitol building in Albany today, the energetic culmination of months of intense lobbying by groups and individuals on both sides of the issue. Senators have held impromptu press conferences in hallways while religious figures, both those for the measure and those opposing it, made speeches and led hymns.
If the Senate passes the bill -- the Democrat-controlled Assembly has already done so -- New York would become the sixth state in the nation to make gay marriage legal.