Just like they did yesterday morning, proponents of same-sex marriage are starting the day optimistic about its passage. The latest reports from Albany sound encouraging: Andrew Cuomo extended the state's legislative session Monday night in order to continue the debate in the Senate over the legalization of same-sex marriage. The major sticking point continues to be language in the bill meant to protect religious groups that object to homosexuality from having to recognize gay marriages. Some Republican Senators who have given this as their reason for their no votes seem close to a resolution.
Senator Andrew Lanza from Staten Island, who has been identified as the most like to provide the one vote needed for passage, sounded confident that an agreement would be reached. "We want to ensure that protection survives whatever any court says about this legislation," Lanza told the Albany Times Union. "Everyone agrees in concept, that we've talked to, that we should do whatever we can to protect religious expression … Finding the language, I believe, will ultimately not be a problem."
Republican Senator Greg Ball, another candidate to provide the missing vote, also said in an interview with CNN that he was holding out for the religious protection language and seemed otherwise willing to support the law:
Even vocal opponents of the law like democrat Ruben Diaz from the Bronx called the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York "inevitable." Senators will remain in Albany until an agreement is reached, though it's unclear how long that might take, and demonstrators have vowed to keep pressure on legislators
In the meantime, President Obama remains mum on the issue, despite having voiced support for same-sex marriage in the past. When asked about the issue in a briefing yesterday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney dodged the question. Reports the Washington Blade:
Asked by the Blade whether Obama was selling these audiences short by seeking their support for his campaign and not supporting their right to marry, Carney replied, “I think you know that this president is very supportive of and strong on LGBT rights. And his record is significant with regard to that. He’s been very clear about his position on gay marriage, he’s been very clear about how that position is evolving. I don’t have any new announcements to make, but I think you know his record, and he’s proud of it.”
Carney was skeptical that Obama would endorse marriage equality in time to celebrate the potential legalization of same-sex marriage in the Empire State at the upcoming fundraiser in New York City.
“I don’t anticipate that,” Carney said.
Support for the legalization of same-sex marriage is strong in New York City, as the window display pictured above shows.