With gay marriage remaining a tough sell in the GOP-majority state Senate, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reaffirming his support for the legislation, unleashing statewide robocalls and launching an agenda-touting speaking tour Tuesday.
“No Republican has publicly said they will vote for a bill. Right now, this is going to fail,” State Sen. Thomas Duane (D-Manhattan), who is openly gay, told amNewYork Monday.
“But I’ll never give up,” added Duane, who was among hundreds of same-sex marriage supporters rallying in Albany on Monday. Cuomo, who lists gay marriage among his top three legislative priorities, skipped the gathering, sending Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy instead.
While the state Assembly has previously passed a marriage equality bill, the Senate, which has a 32-30 Republican edge, has yet to decide whether it would even introduce such legislation.
Thirty-two senators must vote yes for the bill to pass, meaning Republican support is essential. Complicating matters is that three Democrats – Sens. Joseph Addabbo, Shirley Huntley and Carl Kruger – are swing votes, sources said, while Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. (D-Bronx) is already committed to voting no.
Diaz, a Pentecostal minister, could not be reached for comment Monday, but is planning a rally in the Bronx on Sunday in support of traditional marriage.
Even if the three swing senators vote for the bill, the support of three Republicans would also be needed to secure passage. The legislation already failed in the Senate in 2009.
Cuomo is pushing for a vote to happen before the legislative session ends June 20.