NY Assembly just passed marriage equality: 80 – 63. Over to the Senate.

The New York Assembly just passed the marriage bill by a vote of 80- 63. I’m in Minneapolis, but watched much of the debate. It was intense. One of the most powerful speakers was Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, a conservative Republican, who spoke eloquently about her gay son. And, the bill’s sponsor, Danny O’Donnell, was great. He said, among other things, “When push comes to shove, this is about equality.” It sure is.

It’s all up to the Senate now. We need 32 votes. We have 31 Yes votes. After a four-hour meeting today, the GOP Senate Conference will meet again tomorrow to decide how to proceed.

The pressure is on. Tonight, Cuomo’s office blasted GOP Senator Ball for the rational he used to decide to vote no on the marriage bill, as written:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s spokesman Josh Vlasto sent over a statement this evening responding to Sen. Greg Ball saying he would vote against the current same-sex marriage bill as it’s written, saying that he mischaracterizes the measure.

“Senator Ball can decide to vote with the conservatives against the bill but his characterization and description of the bill is just plain wrong. Senator Ball is entitled to his own politics but not his own facts.”

Ball told me earlier today that, “I’m not going to vote for something that shutsdown Catholic adoption agencies, or open religious organizations to being sued.”

There are, of course, religious exemptions in the bill. But, the Church and its minions lie — and will continue to lie. Anything to thwart equality.

We’ll know more tomorrow. The pressure is on. Big time. And, fortunately, Andrew Cuomo is applying a lot of the pressure.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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