Good Shabbos: Same-Gender Marriage Bill Decision Before Hadlokas Neiros? Shelly Hopes So


shelly-silverNY – Legislators are working methodically today to clear away a raft of standard bills to make way for a pivotal same-gender marriage vote as advocates and Republicans who hold the key agreed on one thing: They don’t want the much-anticipated decision to drag on much longer.

Security was tight in the Capitol as opponents and supporters of same-gender marriage clogged the marble hallways after a week of rising tensions and great expectations.

Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Libous said the 32 Republican senators who hold the majority in that chamber could meet behind closed doors later today to decide whether to send the bill to the floor for a vote after they get through other bills.

Libous, a Broome County Republican, said GOP senators don’t want to further stretch the 2011 session, which was supposed to have ended Monday. He said that if the caucus sends the same-gender marriage bill out, it could be voted on today

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is an Orthodox Jew and observes Shabbos, which means he won’t work between sunset tonight and sunset tomorrow. The Assembly is expected to approve several amendments to provide greater protection for religious groups from discrimination lawsuits as a result of a same-gender marriage law.

There is acute interest nationally in what happens in New York, heightened by the timing: This weekend, events are scheduled around the country to celebrate same-gender pride, culminating Sunday with parades in New York City, San Francisco and other cities. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo very publicly attended last year’s same-gender pride parade in New York with his daughters, which drew sharp criticism from his Republican opponent in the race for governor.

{The Washington Post/ Newscenter}