New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
said Thursday that he believes the Senate will approve a gay marriage
bill with several votes to spare, but Republican Senate leaders
emerged from a closed-door meeting saying they had yet to decide
whether to bring the measure to the floor for a vote.
Bloomberg flew up to Albany to lobby
for Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to make New York the sixth – and
most populous – state to legalize gay marriage. The
Republican-turned-independent lawmaker who as the biggest donor to
the Senate Republican caucus yields quite a bit of influence over the
chamber sounded upbeat in speaking to reporters, The
New York Times reported.
“I still believe if they do vote
their hearts and principles, New York State will become the next
state to adopt marriage equality,” Bloomberg said. “Because
based on my conversations with senators, I believe that if the bill
comes to the floor, it will pass. And I'm very hopeful that will be
any day now.”
The Democrat-controlled Assembly on
Wednesday, as expected, approved the gay marriage bill, but
Democrats weren't united on the issue. Two Senate Republicans
have so far endorsed the measure – deadlocking the bill with a
31-31 vote – and others say they remain undecided.
In his remarks, Bloomberg named three
Republicans he had spoken with on the issue: Andrew Lanza, John J.
Flanagan and Mark J. Grisanti.
Senator Thomas Libous told the paper
that Bloomberg spoke “passionately” on the issue.
Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos
told reporters as he left the Republican conference that he was
headed to meet with Governor Cuomo.
delivers major speech in support of gay marriage.)