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AP: State Senate Stalls On Same-Sex Marriage Vote

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TWC News: Gay Marriage, Rent Control Awaits Albany Action
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Following a heated day at the state capitol, the Associated Press reported Monday evening that Senate Republicans emerged from a conference on same-sex marriage without comment, pushing a vote to move the bill to the floor for final legislative approval to at least Tuesday.

As senators arrived for what was supposed to be the final day of Albany's legislative session, they passed crowds of mobilized citizens holding signs and arguing on the capitol's third floor.

The demonstrators included religious clergy who either supported or objected to gay marriage, who often clutched bibles and conducted prayer circles in the hallways.

"This is about the right for every American to be able to go to a civil marriage court and get a civil license. Whether or not they go get a religious ceremony is up to each person," said Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simcha Torah.

The State Senate needs just one more vote in favor to pass the bill, which has already been approved by the State Assembly.

Senate Republicans, who want more protections for religious groups, have been negotiating with Governor Andrew Cuomo, a strong advocate for same-sex marriage.

The governor wants the state Legislature to remain in session until it extends the city's rent control laws, so the senate is likely to stay in session through next week.

One Republican senator told NY1 that a vote on same-sex marriage may not come until Wednesday or Thursday.

Bronx Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., the only senate Democrat who opposes the measure, said he was encouraged seeing such vocal opponents of gay marriage inside the capitol.

"That shows that this is not me alone. There are a lot of people in the State of New York that are against gay marriage," he said. "And the legislators have told the senate, people are saying, 'Reverend Diaz, Reverend Diaz.' This is not Reverend Diaz's issue, this is the people's issue."

Many passersby in the West Village told NY1 today that they expect the measure to pass, but others said they do not want to see the concept of marriage get redefined.

"I think times have changed and support is the appropriate thing to do now. It's long overdue," said a New Yorker.

"I think it is a man and a woman for a reason. Otherwise, we would be all men or all women," said another.

Meanwhile, talks continue on the extension of rent regulations for the city, as an extension bill passed on Friday expires at midnight tonight.

Democrats want to strengthen rent regulations to increase protections for tenants, while Republicans favor a simple renewal of the existing laws.

Sources say legislators are considering rising the threshold to de-control apartments from $2,000 to $2,500. However, no bill has yet been finalized.

The issue is also tied to a property tax cap favored by Senate Republicans.

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