Paterson To Introduce Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

Minority GroupsElectionsMarriageLaws and LegislationSame-Sex MarriageThe Associated Press

ALBANY N.Y. (WPIX) -- Governor David Paterson is expected to introduce legislation this week that will legalize same-sex marriage, according to a government source. If the bill passes, New York will be the fifth state to legalize gay marriage.

As Paterson prepares to introduce the bill to the legislature Thursday, many believe it'll face strong opposition in the state Senate, despite a new Democratic majority.

"This means it's a priority for him," said Democratic Sen. Thomas Duane, a former member of the New York City Council and the first openly gay member of the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, a Queens Democrat, says he supports the new legislation, but does not plan to bring it to a vote, unless passage is a sure thing.

"We don't want to jeopardize the momentum by putting it up before it has enough votes to pass," Austin Shafran, a Smith spokesman, said Tuesday.

Paterson told several local radio stations last week he hopes the Senate will vote on the bill, even if the vote count is uncertain.  The State Assembly has already passed the bill.

Back in 2007, a similar bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state of New York was passed by the Assembly but later died in the Senate where the Republican majority kept it from going to a vote.

Information in the article was provided by The Associated Press.

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