Paterson says gay marriage bill will pass

October 23, 2009 4:48:11 PM PDT
The issue of gay marriage in New York may have taken a big step forward. Governor Paterson has pledged it'll come to a vote at the same time he brings Albany lawmakers back to town to grapple with the budget.

"And when we do the first calendar that is written marriage equality will be on the calendar," he said.

But do New Yorkers really want a vote on gay marriage mixed in with trying to balance the budget?

"I don't think the issue of civil rights should be tied to the budget," Alan Van Capelle of Empire State Pride Agenda said.

Van Capelle, who recently held a commitment ceremony with his partner, says he's just glad to see the senate finally vote yes or no on gay marriage.

"We believe that 62 people in the New York State Senate should say whether they support equality or don't support equality, and if they do, we will celebrate. If we don't, then we will know what work as a community we have to do in 2010," Van Capelle said.

Senator Tom Duane who's gay, says there are enough votes to approve gay marriage, but some democrats don't want to see a vote just yet.

"I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman," Sen. Ruben Diaz Jr. said.

Diaz, a conservative preacher and senator, is pushing for a vote next year an election year. He believes the issue is toxic to senators facing a tough re-election fight.

"They are running for cover and they will be so afraid to bring it to a vote next year that the homosexual community will lose next year," Diaz said.

There's been a lot of talk the governor will call for a special session in the next couple of weeks. The big question is will the senate vote yes or no on the issue of gay marriage with or without a deal on how to balance the state budget.

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