New York Senate rejects gay marriage bill

(AP) - New York lawmakers rejected a bill Wednesdaythat would have made their state the sixth to allow gay marriage,disheartening advocates already stung by a similar decision byMaine voters just last month.

The New York measure failed by a wider-than-expected margin,falling 12 votes short in a 24-38 decision by the state Senate. TheAssembly had earlier approved the bill, and Gov. David Paterson,perhaps the bill's strongest advocate, had pledged to sign it.

New York also doesn't allow civil unions, but has several laws,executive orders and court decisions that grant many of the rightsto gays long enjoyed by married couples.

The vote comes after months of delays and arm twisting oflawmakers sympathetic to the bill but representing conservativedistricts. It also follows a referendum in Maine that struck down agay marriage law before it took effect.

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