ALBANY—It’s a Hail Mary pass for same-sex marriage.
State Senator Tom Duane, the measure’s sponsor in that chamber, just walked across the back of the floor trailed by Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson and Eric Adams, his top lieutenant. Along with Senators Malcolm Smith, Eric Schneiderman and Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Klein, they walked down to meet with David Paterson. Duane’s hands were clasped and he was pacing. A source familiar with the lobbying effort said that the conference was revisiting its decision.
None of the senators would comment.
A few minutes earlier, when he met with reporters to say a deficit reduction package won’t be arrived upon until next week, David Paterson was asked for this thoughts on the non-passage of the bill during today’s session, as we heard happened earlier.
“I don’t know that that’s true,” Paterson said. “It’s moot. Honestly, I don’t know what the Senate is going to do with this. I implored them that I would rather see an up or down vote than no action at all. In my opinion, historically, I think we have lost touch with how movements for equality are reached. There are a lot of ups and downs.”
He then noted that the Emancipation Proclamation was signed five years after the Dred Scott decision, which said slaves were to be treated as property under the law. “My view is that an up or down–a record on where the senators in this state stand–is more important.”