Gay Marriage On The Brink
New York state senators set to vote on approval of gay marriage.
Two Republican state senators in New York say no decision was made on the fate of gay marriage after a three-hour meeting behind closed doors Monday.
The senators, speaking on condition of anonymity, say gay marriage is tied up in negotiations with other issues including rent control in New York City and a statewide property tax cap.
A vote by the majority Republican conference to send the marriage bill to the Senate floor or kill it could still be days away.
31 senators, including two Republicans, have declared their support for the measure thus far.
Only one more Republican vote is needed for the measure to pass.
The Assembly has already passed it.
Last week Governor Andrew Cuomo personally lobbied wavering Republican lawmakers and has said the extension of marriage rights to gays and lesbians is "a matter of principle, not politics."
New York's vote is seen as pivotal in the national question over same-sex marriage, an effort that largely stalled in the same room two years ago when the Senate voted it down.
Since then, efforts have failed in New Jersey, Rhode Island and Maryland.
Advocates hope a "yes" vote in the nation's third most-populous state jumpstarts the effort.
On Monday, hundreds of raucous demonstrators on both sides of the divisive gay-marriage debate jammed the usually sedate halls of New York's Capitol on Monday as Senate Republicans, who can determine the measure's fate, consider whether to schedule a decisive vote on the issue.
Groups led by clergy opposed to same-sex marriage sang hymns such as "Victory is Mine" and prayed in small circles while pro-same-sex marriage advocates countered with "God Bless America" and lined the halls and parlor outside the Senate chamber.
State troopers were called to the Senate chamber floor as the two groups started to merge and argue with each other, but there were no immediate threats of escalation, only debate.
There were no threats and senators moved unmolested from the elevators to their conference room on the Capitol's stately and normally staid third floor.