All Eyes On Albany As Senate Prepares To Vote On Gay Marriage

06.20.11 | Sarah Harnisch

All eyes are on Albany as the Senate prepares to vote on a bill to allow same sex marriages in New York. The lesiglative session ends today; lawmakers only have until midnight to vote on the issue. Either the Senate will pass the bill today, or it will not get passed at all.

Gay rights advocates stood outside the capitol buliding all night. "The government needs to recognize the differences between church and state. All we're asking for are equal rights under the Constitution," supporters say. "I'm nervous, but I think we're going to make it this time." State Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell agrees with supporters, believing that the measure will pass before the summer break. "I'm confident that with the government's leadership, we're going to get this done... This time it's going to pass. i'm proud to be part of the process that's extending the right to New Yorkers."

Meanwhile, those in support of traditional marriage from across the state have been sending tens of thousands of letters and calling their senators and congressmen in an effort to get them to vote "no." Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage says, "New York should have the same ability as 31 other states. Every single state that this has been put to a vote, the voters directly have said, 'No. We know that it's unique and special and we do not want it redefined.'" Pastors across the state also told their congregations to contact their senators and let them know where they stand. "I know we're sort of the David here against the Goliath," one pastor says. "But we're not going to give up."

If this bill is approved, New York will be only the sixth state to allow same-sex marriages. The Assembly has already passed the bill, but the Senate is still one vote away. As of this morning, three Republicans are undecided on the issue and one said over the weekend that he will not vote in favor of the bill.

If you would like information on how to reach your state represenatives, click here.