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Equal Marriage in 2009? Not For New York.

Another link to this story here.

Some disappointing news from the Big Apple. But the issue is not dead- more of a “wait for it”.

State Sen. Malcolm Smith says gay marriage will happen in New York but probably not this year.    

New York Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith said Saturday that his Democratic conference lacks enough votes to legalize gay marriage this year, but he’s committed to passing a gay marriage bill soon.

Smith said in remarks prepared for a Human Rights Campaign event in Manhattan that he strongly supports equal marital rights for gay couples.

“Although we don’t have the number of votes at this time needed to pass the marriage equality and gender bill this legislative session, we are committed to pursuing its passage when we have the votes,” said Smith, of Queens.

But his confirmation that he lacks enough votes is likely a disappointment for gay rights advocates, who had hoped gay marriage would pass after Democrats took control of the Senate in the November elections.

So what happened? Certainly Governor Paterson has been a very strong supporter (as his various posts here on the Blend show as well) and the Dems finally control the chamber in New York… simply put, not enough Democrats were on board to get the needed votes.

Not that they don’t SUPPORT same-sex marriage- no, they balked for political clout.

More below the fold.

Democrats won a 32-30 majority after more than 40 years of GOP rule in the chamber. But initially four, then three dissident Democrats threatened to side with Republicans if they didn’t get the lucrative leadership positions they sought or attention to their top legislative issues.

Sen. Ruben Diaz of the Bronx, a minister, has said he wouldn’t vote for a majority leader who would let a gay marriage bill reach the floor. Sen. Carl Kruger, a conservative Brooklyn Democrat, also had some concerns about gay marriage.

Without either of their votes, Smith would need Republican support. And the GOP conference has been at odds with Democrats over legislative rules, staffing and resources since the rough transition of power.

So… “hurry up and wait time” in New York until enough wheels are greased, enough palms are fed, and enough egos assuaged.

But hey, that’s okay! Same sex couples still have nearby New England with 2 options and maybe more soon- and if it doesn’t work out, they can get divorced in Reno, er, New Jersey!

Sorry, New York. Looks like a bit more work needs to be done, especially in the next round of local elections!

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