ALBANY, New York, June 16, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The fate of true marriage in New York now depends on Senate Republicans after the Democrat-controlled Assembly voted to extend the legal definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.
The Assembly voted Wednesday evening 80 – 63 to legalize same-sex “marriage.” Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo has campaigned heavily for the bill along with Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy, meeting with Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to secure their support.
Already two Republicans, Sens. Jim Alesi (Rochester) and Roy MacDonald (Saratoga Springs), have switched their votes from “no” to “yes” on same-sex “marriage.” Alesi has claimed that he only cast his vote against gay “marriage” in 2009 as a political move, to help Republicans reclaim the chamber in 2010.
An unofficial vote count has the Senate split 31 – 31. If that count is accurate and the GOP allows the bill to come to the floor, then the tie-breaking vote would fall to Duffy as lieutenant governor, resulting in the bill’s passage. Alesi has predicted that several more Republicans would join him if GOP leaders allowed them, resulting in an even wider margin of passage.
Only one Democrat, Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr. (Bronx) is voting against the same-sex “marriage” bill. Diaz also is the strongest pro-marriage leader in the Senate, and has been urging the GOP to block the bill’s passage.
Diaz has been the subject of numerous death threats for his stance. Pro-gay “marriage” advocates even held a “F*** Ruben Diaz Festival”, the brainchild of an online forum of homosexuals called The New Gay. (see story)
Diaz, an Hispanic evangelical minister has received support from the New York Catholic Conference of Bishops, which has allied with Diaz in opposing the bill. Ironically, that pits the Catholic Church with Diaz against both of the bill’s major proponents, Cuomo and Duffy, who are self-proclaimed Catholics.
The GOP conference met Wednesday to discuss whether they would allow the bill to come to the floor before Monday, when the legislature goes into recess. Sen. Majority Leader Dean Skelos has given no indication of whether the GOP will bring the bill to the floor.
The Conservative Party, a critical ally in New York for GOP candidates campaigning on multiple party ballots, has vowed that they will oppose any GOP senator who votes for same-sex “marriage” – meaning that control of the Senate could flip back to Democrats in the 2012 election if gay “marriage” is passed with the help of Republicans.