New York State Assembly Passes Gay Marriage for a Fourth Time

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The New York State Assembly passed the Marriage Equality Bill yesterday, the fourth time that chamber of the state legislature has done so. The bill passed overwhelming, 80-63, but still, it had the lowest margin of victory the issue has ever had in the Assembly. (A number of "yes" votes had been lost through attrition since the previous votes.)

It was somewhat surprising that Speaker Sheldon Silver brought it up in his chamber first, as it was widely expected the Senate vote (which will have an even slimmer margin, no matter how it goes) would occur first.

In any case, the spotlight is now back on the Senate. The GOP Senators met in conference for four hours yesterday, and will meet again today. It's unknown if Majority Leader Dean Skelos will allow the bill to come up for a vote. There are currently 31 publicly committed "yes" votes of 32 needed, including two Republicans. Four other Republicans are on the fence, but are reportedly holding out for even stronger religious protections than
the Marriage Equality Bill already provides.

sthrasher@villagevoice.com / @steven_thrasher

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