Eight New York state senators say they
are undecided on a proposed gay marriage bill.
According to a survey of all 62
lawmakers by newspaper giant Gannett, 5 Republicans and 3 Democrats
are on the fence, giving supporters hope that the upcoming vote might
A similar Senate vote in 2009, when
Democrats controlled the chamber, failed by eight votes, but
supporters have picked up two votes in the current session.
Four Republicans who voted against the
measure – Senators Kemp Hannon, Roy McDonald, James Alesi and
Stephen Saland – now say they're rethinking their stance. Alesi
attended a gay marriage fundraiser last week, but didn't comment one
way or the other. Freshman Senator Greg Ball, who voted against
the measure as an assemblyman, is also undecided.
Brian Ellner of the gay rights group
Human Rights Campaign (HRC), told
Gannett that he believes there are more than eight undecided
votes in the Senate.
“I think there are many undecided
members of the Senate, and we're working very hard to make it clear
to all of them that this is, of course, a moderate mainstream issue
that a supermajority of New Yorkers support – and that the time is
now,” Ellner said, referring to a recent poll that found 58% of New
Yorkers support the institution's legalization. However, a second
survey found residents split right down the middle with 50 percent in
The paper identified three undecided
Democrats who voted against the measure in 2009: Senators Joseph
Addabbo, Shirley Huntley and Carl Kruger. Kruger
has since been outed as gay by the New York Post.