Deal Near for Gay Marriage Bill, Report Says
By Kiratiana Freelon on June 20, 2011 8:51am |
By Olivia Scheck
MANHATTAN — The state Senate was close to striking a deal to legalize same-sex marriage in New York Monday – the last official day of the legislative session – Republican negotiators told the New York Post.
The bill, which passed the Assembly by a vote of 80-63 last Wednesday, was being held up by Republican lawmakers who complained that the law might jeopardize the rights of religious institutions.
With just one vote needed to secure a majority in the Republican-led Senate, legislators were working to address senators' religious freedom concerns by tweaking the language of the bill, according to the Post.
Gay rights advocates were also hard at work rallying support for the bill over the weekend, with roughly 300 demonstrators gathering in Union Square for a "Last Day of Marriage Inequality" action on Sunday, according to event organizers Queer Rising.
That event followed another rally at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park, and a "kiss-in" for marriage equality at Herald Square on Saturday.
Thousands of volunteers, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton and N'SYNC star Lance Bass, have offered their support for the same-sex marriage bill in recent weeks through phone banks, postcard campaigns and neighborhood canvassing efforts.
While Monday is the last official day of the Senate's legislative session, Governor Andrew Cuomo was expected to keep lawmakers in Albany until votes could be held on several outstanding bills, the Post said.