Wait Drags on for Gay Marriage Vote

By Meredith Hoffman on June 21, 2011 7:42pm 

By Jill Colvin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

CITY HALL — Advocates on both sides of the debate will have to wait at least another day for the Senate to vote on an historic bill on whether to legalize same-sex marriage, as legislators scrambled to reach a deal on a host of other issues, including rent regulations and a property tax cap.

"It is unacceptable for us to be told to wait until Thursday or Friday," said Jake Goodman, a founding member of the pro-gay marriage group Queer Rising, who joined hundreds rallying in Albany Tuesday for a second day in a row.

Goodman said he felt optimistic that progress made on other bills might clear the way for a gay marriage vote, but said the wait was deeply frustrating.

"To them it's a bargaining chip. ... For us, it's our livelihood," he said.

While the bill has the support of Democrats, some Republican lawmakers side with anti-gay marriage advocates who say the law could jeopardize the rights of religious institutions who believe marriage is only between a man and a woman.

While the regular legislative session officially came to an end Monday night, legislators remained in Albany in special session to hammer out deals on a number of key points of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's agenda that remain deadlocked.

In addition to the marriage bill, Democrats and Republicans are sparring over renewing rent regulations, which are set to expire again at midnight tonight after another temporary extension.

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