Same-Sex Marriage Advocates Aim at Republicans [Updated]

Same-sex marriage advocates, who have been coordinating their efforts with Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, announced they’re bringing their Republican counterparts into the fold.

“We are thrilled to have Log Cabin Republicans join the coalition” said Brian Ellner of the Human Rights Campaign.

What impact they will have on Republicans–many of whom voted against the bill two years ago in the State Senate– is unclear.

A spokesman for the Republican State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said it’s not clear when a vote on this will take place. Cuomo reportedly wanted a vote by June.

“Senator Skelos makes it a point to meet with advocates on both sides of this and every other issue,” Skelos spokesman Scott Reif emailed me to say. “At the appropriate time, the conference will discuss whether or not this bill should come to the floor this session.”

One Republican who may be changing his vote is State Senator James Alesi of Monroe county. He “agonized” over the issue right before voting no, back in 2009. Now he is saying he’s undecided. Democrats from Queens who voted no – Joe Addabbo and Shirley Huntley – are also reconsidering the issue.

Update: Ellner elaborates. “It’s clear we are going to need a bi-partisan coalition to get this passed” he said in a brief interview just now. His coalition, and the Log Cabin Republicans will be “sharing resources and relationships and intelligence” which “did not happen in the past.”

In 2009, only 24 State Senators voted to legalize same-sex marriage. Currently, 26 state senators are on the record saying they’ll vote for it. Advocates estimate they’ll need a handful of Republicans to cross over and support the measure. An April 11 Siena poll said Republican voters were “nearly evenly divided” on the issue.