The New York State Senate has defeated a bill to legalize gay marriage, voting 38 to 24.
The Senate shot down the bill after two and a half hours of debate
this afternoon, during which no Republicans spoke. New York's other
legislative body, the state assembly, had approved the bill in May by a
vote of 89 to 52.
Gov. David Paterson (D) supported the measure. He called a special
session in November for the Senate to consider the bill and vote on
budget measures to reconcile a $3.2 billion deficit.
Democrats have a one-seat majority in the Senate. No Republicans voted for it, and several Dems voted against.
Although polls have shown support for gay marriage among New Yorkers, many observers questioned whether Paterson had the votes to pass it.
Earlier today, the Senate approved
a $2.8 billion deficit reduction plan after months of bickering and
stalled negotiations. Paterson released a statement saying it doesn't
go far enough and will force him to make painful cuts to education and
This is the latest blow for gay marriage. Last month, Maine voters repealed a law that had legalized same-sex marriage. Maine had been the first state to OK gay marriage legislatively.