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Yahoo/AP: New York lawmakers to vote on gay marriage within hours


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ALBANY, New York (Reuters) - New York state senators will vote on whether to become the sixth U.S. state to allow gay marriage later on Friday or in the early hours of Saturday, Republican senators said.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Republican Senator George Maziarz both said a marriage equality bill would be voted on by the Senate.

New York could become the sixth and most populous state to allow gay marriage if bill introduced by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is approved by the Senate. Only one more Republican senator needs to support the bill for it to pass.

The fate of the proposal hinges on three undecided Republican senators who have voiced concerns over what they say are weak legal protections for religious groups and individuals who oppose gay marriage.

While only one Senate Republican vote is needed, most observers say at least two or three additional votes are necessary to provide political cover, as same-sex marriage is a sensitive issue for conservative politicians.

On Thursday Sen. Greg Ball, a Hudson Valley Republican, announced that he would vote against the marriage bill after weeks of being considered a key swing vote. He said the bill did not provide sufficient religious protections.

Have to say, I'm surprised. Is New York actually gonna pass a gay marriage bill, through normal legislative procedures? With at least one Republican vote?

That would seem to be huge news, to me.

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