New York teeters on the verge of a special session

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June 20, 2011

New York

ALBANY, New York: Today is the last scheduled day of the New York legislative session, and time is running out as Democrats scramble to garner one last vote on Governor Cuomo's same-sex marriage legislation.

Cuomo's bill would grant same-sex couples equal rights to marry, as well as "hundreds of rights, benefits and protections that are currently limited to married couples of the opposite sex."[1] The bill, if passed, would alter the current Domestic Relations Law to say that "no application for a marriage license shall be denied on the ground that the parties are of the same or a different sex."[1]

The bill has the support of 31 senators, including two Republicans, senators Roy McDonald and James Alesi. However, the bill still needs the support of one more senator to seal the deal. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has indicated that, despite GOP concerns over the "unintended consequences" of re-defining marriage, discussions will still continue. Cuomo has also indicated that he will extend the legislative session if need be, stating "There is a full agenda for both the Assembly and Senate to accomplish and the legislative session will not end, either through regular or special session, until the people's business is done."[1]

If the Senate is able to pass the bill, New York would then join five other states, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire in granting same-sex marriage licenses.[1]

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