By Heather Grossmann
The state Senate was engaged in a historic debate Wednesday afternoon about a bill to legalize marriage in New York.
State Sen. Tom Duane, from Chelsea, brought the bill, which was approved by the Assembly for the third time early this morning, to the floor.
"If you believe all men and women are created equal, then vote yes," Eric Schneiderman, from the Upper West, said in an impassioned plea. "This is our moment."
Duane has repeatedly said that there are enough votes in the Senate to pass the bill, but some experts were predicting Wednesday that not enough Republicans would support it.
After Duane introduced it, the face of the bill's opposition, Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., from The Bronx, made an impassioned plea for Republicans and other conservative Democrats to kill the bill.
Diaz accused senate leaders of "treason" in bringing the bill to the floor.
“We have come to a day that maybe none of us wanted to be a part of,” Diaz said.
In Manhattan's neighborhoods, gay couples who hope to marry if the law is passed, were anxiously watching live-streams of the Senate debate.