New York Governor David Paterson is
expected to renew his pledge to drive a gay marriage bill through the
state Senate tonight when he joins other VIPs at a gay fundraiser in
While not listed on the official
program for the Empire State Pride Agenda's Fall
Dinner, Newsday reported that Paterson is likely to make
It is keynote speaker Senator Charles
Schumer's debut appearance before a gay audience after announcing his
support for gay marriage.
But all eyes will be on Paterson, who
recently said he wants to put gay marriage on the agenda for a
special session within weeks. As governor, Paterson sets the agenda
for a special session, however, he cannot force lawmakers to take
Empire State Pride Agenda, the state's
most prominent gay marriage advocate, has been lobbying senators to
support the gay marriage bill that is waiting for Senate approval to
Senate members, however, remain divided
on the bill. While Democrats hold a slim majority in the 60-member
Senate, only a few have publicly endorsed the bill. And five
Democratic senators say they are against the measure. That means the
bill needs the help of at least four Republican senators.
Still, openly gay Senator Tom Duane, a
Democrat from New York City and sponsor of the measure in the Senate,
says he remains upbeat.
“I still am very confident that when
we do come back in the Senate that we'll pass marriage,” Duane told
gay weekly the Washington
Alan Van Capelle, executive director of
Pride Agenda, has praised Paterson for his continuing support.
“I personally know from my
conservations with him he wants New York to once again be a leader in
providing equality for all its citizens,” Capelle said in a