From The New York Daily News:
Gay marriage now just one vote shy of becoming law in New York despite Archbishop Dolan’s objections
BY KENNETH LOVETT
DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF
ALBANY – Gay marriage moved just one vote shy Tuesday of becoming law in New York as the state’s top Catholic raised holy hell trying to stop it.
Sen. Roy McDonald (R-Saratoga) – in a dramatic reversal from his earlier opposition – became the second GOPer in as many days to give his blessing to same-sex nuptials, bringing Senate support to 31 votes.
Thirty two votes are needed to approve a gay marriage bill Gov. Cuomo formally introduced Tuesday.
McDonald’s change of heart came hours after Archbishop Timothy Dolan led a band of religious groups hustling to halt the momentum.
“The stampede is on,” Dolan wrote in a blog post. “Our elected senators who have stood courageous in their refusal to capitulate on the state’s presumption to redefine marriage are reporting unrelenting pressure to cave in.”
Dolan equated the move to allow same-sex marriage to life in China or North Korea, where “government presumes daily to ‘redefine’ rights, relationships, values and natural law.”
“Please, not here!,” Dolan wrote. “We cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought.”
The opposition from Dolan, other religious groups and conservative political outfits threatening retribution at the ballot box has turned the Senate into a pressure cooker for Republicans.
And McDonald snapped.
“You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn’t black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing,” McDonald, 64, told reporters.
“You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing.
“I’m tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I’m trying to do the right thing, and that’s where I’m going with this.”
At least four of McDonald’s fellow Republicans are considering voting for the bill, prompting widespread optimism that the Legislature is about to cross the threshold of history.
“I’ve moved from cautiously optimistic to outright optimistic,” said Assembly bill sponsor Daniel O’Donnell.
GOP Sens. Greg Ball (Putnam), Andrew Lanza (S.I.), Stephen Saland (Poughkeepsie) and Mark Grisanti (Buffalo) say they’re open to voting “aye.”
The bill’s fate is more certain in the Assembly, which has passed gay marriage legislation three times in recent years – only to see it die in the Senate. The Assembly hopes to vote on it Wednesday if it gets permission from Cuomo, sources said.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Nassau) set a closed-door meeting with his members Wednesday to decide if he should hold a vote on Cuomo’s bill. He’s previously said it should come to a vote.
Multiple sources say they expect the bill to be voted on – and passed – as soon as Friday.
Cuomo finally released the bill he wants passed – which insiders say is another sign the nuptials are gaining steam because he vowed only to go forward if approval was assured.
The bill provides the same legal rights for same-sex couples who marry as heterosexual couples. And it prohibits local clerks from nixing marriage license applications from gay couples.
In hopes of attracting needed Senate GOP votes, Cuomo’s bill offers some exemptions from anti-discrimination laws to religious groups and affiliated organizations.
The Knights of Columbus, for instance, would be allowed to bar same-sex couples from renting out catering hall space.
The bill also specifies that no clergy would be forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies.
Hours after unveiling his bill, Cuomo was slated to head to the city for a fund-raiser with donors from the gay community.