Friday, June 24, 2011


Last night I went to a party honoring Dan Savage, in town to be grand marshall of the Pride parade, on a weekend that could be a major celebration in New York or an all out protest depending on what happens in Albany. Everyone was on pins and needles about marriage in New York and the vote, but we all were really believing this was the last night, as the Republican leader Dean Skelos said senators would be pulling out an "all-nighter." Shortly after I got home, however, Skelos abruptly adjourned the senate, at about 11 p.m., without votes on several major issues, including property tax caps, rent regulations and marriage equality. I guess in Albany, an all-nighter means going to bed at midnight.

It's outrageous that these people negotiate in secret while our rights hang in the balance, and the New York Times slams them all, including the governor and the Democratic assembly leader, for doing so. By not voting last night they actually allowed rent regulations to expire in New York. Apparently the rent and tax bills weren't even printed up yet and there were still major changes and they'd be there until four or five a.m. And it's clear they're waiting to the very end to even decide on a marriage vote, let alone take one. They're reconvening at 10 a.m. this morning.

So that means, hopefully, there may be a vote today. Skelos is planning on it, saying "I'm convinced -- how many times have I said that? -- we will get it done.I want to have all the bills in print, everything, and then we'll discuss the same-sex marriage [bill]."

But it remains unclear if they'll have the time. Governor Cuomo's office still appears confident a vote will be taken. Seantor Ball, meanwhile, previously one of the undecided Republicans, has said the religious exemptions he fought for are not enough for him, and he is voting no, though he believes the bill will pass. So, we'll see what this day brings in Albany, and everywhere. And we'll go live to the NY Senate floor if this vote happens during the show today. Listen in!

And don't forget to vote on this week's Gassy of the Week award. I think a certain New York State senator is the top contender.