Monday, June 22, 2009

New York Governor Calls for Senate Special Session; Marriage Equality Bill's Fate Unknown

Today is supposed to be the last day of the New York Senate's session, but due to the power struggle that's consumed them for the last few weeks, they haven't been able to get anything done.

Gov. David Paterson has had enough and has called for an emergency senate session for tomorrow, and everyday after that if necessary, so they can get off their asses and actually get stuff done. 41 bills have yet to be voted on.

But will this include a vote on the governor's marriage equality legislation? There are no guarantees. The NY Times reports that the governor has gone back and forth on the issue.
Gov. David A. Paterson said in an interview Sunday night that he would make sure that the State Senate votes on same sex-marriage legislation before it breaks for the summer, hours after he and his administration had refused to commit to forcing a vote on the issue.

The development came as the governor announced plans to call the Senate to a special session on Tuesday, after trying unsuccessfully for two weeks to broker a compromise in a leadership battle that has deadlocked the chamber. But Mr. Paterson dismayed gay rights groups in his comments at a news conference early Sunday afternoon, when he said same-sex marriage would not be on the special session’s agenda.

“It has always been my intention to see same-sex marriage come to the floor,” he said, adding, “I don’t want there to be any confusion.”
So put simply, if a special session is called, the marriage equality bill will not be included since it's not considered an "emergency." Yet somehow, the governor wants to get it to the floor for a voted.

Given that the Senate keeps rejected the governor's attempts to broker a solution to the power-locked summit, his pleas may be falling on deaf ears. But then again, the senators may have to kiss their holidays good-bye if they don't figure this out soon, so who knows.

ACTION: The HRC isn't taking any chances. They have set up phone banks for volunteers to call the senators as well as passing out senate contact information for constituents to call and demand action on the marriage equality.

Check out all the information for volunteering and senate information here at HRC.

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