New York Governor David Paterson has
renewed his call for lawmakers to approve a gay marriage bill.
Speaking Thursday at a gay rights
fundraiser, Paterson said he would put the issue on the agenda for a
special session within weeks.
“We will also address some unfinished
business from earlier in the year,” Paterson told attendees to the
Empire State Pride Agenda's Fall Dinner. “And when we do, on the
first calendar that is written, marriage equality will be on the
As governor, Paterson sets the agenda
for a special session. However, he cannot force lawmakers to take
Openly gay Senator Tom Duane, a
Democrat from New York City and sponsor of the measure in the Senate,
has said he believes the measure has the votes to pass in the Senate.
The New York Assembly has already voted
in favor of the bill. Democratic leaders in the Senate, however,
have resisted putting the measure up for a vote, saying it would
But Senate President Malcolm Smith was
sounding more in favor of doing so Thursday.
“There are obviously still challenges
with the votes, but you've got to bring it forward and let it happen,
one way or another,” Smith said.
Whether the measure passes or fails,
gay marriage advocates say they want a vote to put senators on
"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," Alan Van Capelle, executive director of Empire State
Pride Agenda, told local ABC affiliate WABC.