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Cuomo joins gay rights groups over marriage equality bill

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marriage Photo Credit: Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to shift his attention to a same-sex marriage bill once the state budget process is completed, according to sources familiar with a closed-door meeting the governor held Wednesday with gay rights advocates.

“To me this is more than just a piece of legislation. This is about the lives of people who I have known for many years, who currently are without the rights to which they are entitled,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The gathering, which included openly gay City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, is one of many on the marriage-equality bill that the governor said he is holding.

But whether the Democratic governor can muster up support in a GOP-led Senate remains unclear, especially after a similar bill failed in 2009 when his party had control of both houses.

Meeting attendee Brian Ellner, of the Human Rights Campaign, said he remains optimistic. “The world is changing very quickly and the polls show a strong majority of New Yorkers across the state favor marriage equality,” he said.

A Quinnipiac Poll last month found New Yorkers support gay marriage 54 to 39 percent, with mainly Republicans and seniors opposing it.

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