Tuesday, November 10, 2009

LIVE STREAMING: New York Senate Vote on Marriage Equality Bill

Today at 12pm EST/9am PST, the New York Senate special session is set to begin. On the agenda is the state's marriage equality bill on which they're to debate and vote. Bookmark this page.

UPDATE 3 4:35pm PST: The AP is now reporting that Gov. Paterson is pushing for a vote on the marriage equality bill next week for special sessions on November 16 and 17. So it appears will be going through this process yet again.

UPDATE 2 10:40am PST: I must say, this does not come as a surprise to me. The New York Times is reporting that the state senate will not take up the marriage equality bill today.
Republicans and Democrats said that as of Tuesday afternoon the measure was still several votes short of the 32 necessary for approval. About five Democrats remained either opposed or noncommittal, meaning that Republican votes were needed to secure passage.


It was unclear when the Senate would take the issue up. Wednesday is Veteran’s Day and a holiday, meaning that it would be at least the end of the week before they could vote on the bill. "It sounds like today is just not going to be the day," said Senator Eric T. Schneiderman, a Democrat from Manhattan who has been one of the same-sex marriage bill’s main proponents. "There are a lot of us who want to see it voted on and passed as soon as possible. So if today’s not the day, I think our views on the overall strategy don’t change."

This does not mean the bill is dead. The NY Times reports that a vote could come next week.

UPDATE 9:10am PST: It's not looking good for marriage equality. The New York Daily News is reporting:
As of this moment, the outlook for the same-sex marriage bill is not good, and it appears likely that the measure will not come up for a vote when the Senate convenes at noon for a

A source involved in the negotiations said definitively: "It is not coming to the floor."

See my post on the steep climb this bill faces.

Though I reported yesterday the Democrats, who control the chamber, were negotiating late into the night Monday on whether or not to submit the bill for a vote, Newsday reports that no final decision was made. The state's $3.2 billion deficit may take up the whole session.

This day has been a long time coming (if it happens at all). One of the many reasons it took so long is the bill's biggest foe, Sen. Ruben Diaz (D), who I've posted on before about his ridiculous hypocrisy.

New York Times wrote a profile
on him today. Diaz objects to being called a homophobe.
Two of his brothers are gay, he murmurs, one of them recently deceased. So is a granddaughter. There is an old friend who works for him in the Senate. And a former campaign aide.

“I love them. I love them,” says Mr. Díaz, who grew up one of 17 children in Puerto Rico. “But I don’t believe in what they are doing. They are my brothers. They are my family.”

His voice rises again. “So how could I be a homophobe?"

Uhm, easily. Suppressing the rights of LGBT citizens from living full lives so they're not equal to yours is homophobia.

He's one of those hurdles we have to clear. The Democrats have control of the chamber 32-30. Obviously Diaz, who is Democrat, won't vote with most of his party. So we need some moderate Republican support.

ACTION: If you're a New Yorker, contact your Senator and tell them to vote for marriage equality!

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