Not Over Yet: Homosexual “Marriage” Bill Becomes Bargaining Chip in Chaotic New York Senate Power St

Fri Jun 12, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

By Peter J. Smith

ALBANY, New York, June 12, 2009 ( – Although the Republicans’ seizure of power in the New York Senate with the aid of two renegade Democrats appeared to put an effective end to the pending same-sex “marriage” bill, the ensuing chaos of leadership challenges and shifting alliances, has brought back same-sex “marriage” as a potent bargaining chip in the current power struggle.

“The situation is so chaotic in New York right now that all bets are off,” Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, told “It is critical that people contact their Senators and urge them to oppose same-sex marriage because the bill could come up as early as Monday.”

The New York Times has reported that the current Senate President, Pedro Espada (D-Bronx) has promised a vote on the same-sex “marriage” bill as soon as next week if more of his Democratic colleagues defect from the camp of former majority leader Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) and join him in the GOP-dominated coalition. Sen. Thomas Duane (D-Manhattan), the primary sponsor of the “marriage” bill, indicated he may caucus with the GOP if he is guaranteed a vote.

On Wednesday the Senate could not convene, since Democrats in Smith’s coalition had hidden away the keys to the Senate chambers. The following day, Senate Republicans obtained a set of keys to enter the Senate, but promptly lost quorum when Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens), who joined Espada in the GOP takeover, walked out of the Senate chambers saying he was going to convince more Democrats to join the coalition.

Senate Democrats are convening in Manhattan to determine whether Smith will retain his position as the leader of their caucus in the Senate or to replace him with another.

Meanwhile Smith has brought the issue of the leadership of the senate to the State Supreme Court. Judge Thomas J. McNamara requested both parties solve the transfer of power out of the court, but barring a resolution over the weekend, scheduled another court appearance for 9:30 AM on Monday.

In the midst of the chaos, it appears that GOP Senate Majority Leader, Dean Skelos, has signaled his acceptance of a proposal that would allow senators to have a conscience vote on the same-sex “marriage” bill.

“Immense pressure is being brought to bear on a number of these Republicans,” said Brown. “The real question is will these Republican senators sell-out in order to maintain control of the Senate.”  

“A couple of Republicans are still down as undecided,” continued Brown, adding that only a handful of GOP votes are needed to pass the same-sex “marriage” bill. “I think James Alesi (R-East Rochester) and Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) are two critical senators that need to hear from their constituents.”

Brown said Skelos’s statements were “very very troubling”, since “it basically is giving the green light to some Republicans to switch their positions or moving from undecided to approving same-sex ‘marriage.’” 

“The chaos that ensued has changed the dynamic on the ground, and it is anyone’s bet as to what is to happen.”

To contact members of the New York State Senate:

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