A bill in the New York State Senate to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the state has been delayed by senate procedure which has forced senators to indefinitely put off an up/down vote.
During a special session on Tuesday convened by Governor David Patterson senators meant to produce a plan to close the current budget deficit and vote on the same-sex marriage bill. Senators were unable to come to a conclusion on the budget plan which they felt should be decided before any vote on the same sex-marriage bill could take place. Because Wednesday is Veterans day and senators were returning to their districts any vote has been pushed to next week. Proponents of the bill worry that the delay will damper the momentum.
“Honestly, I don’t know what the Senate is going to do with this,” Patterson told The New York Observer. “I implored them that I would rather see an up or down vote than no action at all.”
Democrats also felt that they didn’t currently have enough votes to push the bill through. They only have a two vote majority in the senate. According to The New York Times, all but five Democrats have said they support the bill. The slim majority will force Democrats to be more bipartisan. The Times said that the delay could provide proponents more time to gather votes from both sides of the aisle.
Last week, Patterson announced that he would convene the special session which would call for the senate to vote on his political wish-list of initiatives including enacting tougher penalties on drunk drivers, reform the pension system and public authorities.
Patterson has said that he will try to keep the momentum alive during the delay. “We’ll continue the dialogue,” he told The Observer. “I’ll probably have a leaders meeting in the interim to keep us where they are, and bring the legislature in next Monday and Tuesday to complete this deficit reduction program.”
Despite the delay, Patterson remains optimistic. “Well next week’s another week,” he added. “You’ve only seen the first act.”