State Senate stuck on gay marriage as rallies grow

ALBANY - (AP) - Hundreds of protesters for and against gaymarriage in New York chanted, sang and sought out TV cameras Mondaywhile the state Senate again came to no resolution on the issue ina closed-door session that barely touched on the nationallydivisive topic.

Two Republican senators said the gay marriage issue that hassharply focused the efforts of opponents and advocates was onlybriefly discussed in the caucus. Instead, Senate Republican leaderDean Skelos is negotiating with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo onreligious exemptions that could be enough for Republican senators -most of whom oppose gay marriage - to send the issue to a floorwhere a bipartisan effort could pass it.

Democratic Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., a Bronx minister who has led theopposition, said he now considers the legalization of same-sexmarriage inevitable at some point in New York. He said, however,he's unsure how the Senate will vote, noting Cuomo is exertingunprecedented pressure to get Republicans to approve his bill.

On Monday, groups led by clergy opposed to same-sex marriagesang hymns such as "Victory is Mine" and prayed in small circleswhile pro-same-sex marriage advocates countered with "God BlessAmerica" and "This Little Light of Mine" and lined the halls andparlor outside the Senate chamber.

The legislative session was supposed to end Monday, but thenegotiations are expected to keep the Legislature in Albany throughmuch of the week.

The Assembly has already passed the measure.

State Senate Republicans put off vote on same-sex marriage billLI gay-rights advocates await same-sex marriage voteNY Assembly passes gay marriage bill

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