UPDATE Friday 7PM EST: The Bilerico Project is live-blogging the scene at the Senate building. Senator Skelos has confirmed that the bill will go to the floor tonight (albeit probably as late as possible) and that an agreement has been reached on the language in the bill w/r/t religious exemptions:
“The amended Marriage Equality legislation protects religious liberties without creating any special exceptions that would penalize same-sex couples or treat them unequally. The legislation strikes an appropriate balance that allows all loving, committed couples to marry while preserving religious freedom.”
It’s Friday, and as you all know, Saturday comes after Friday. So today would be a really good day for the New York State Senate to finally vote on same-sex marriage rights. Otherwise I think everyone’s gonna lose their minds. Patience is wearing thin, says The New York Times:
Frustrations flared in the Capitol on Friday as Democratic lawmakers and gay rights advocates suggested that the Republicans in the State Senate were deliberately delaying a vote on whether to legalize same-sex marriage in New York.
It was a marked change of tone from proponents of gay marriage, and it seemed to indicate that their collaborative relationship with the Republicans, in whose hands the fate of the measure rests, had begun to fray.
“It’s outrageous,” said State Senator Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat. “We were sent home last night without really any explanation.”
As of this morning, negotiations over protecting religious institutions hadn’t led to a final agreement between Republicans and the Governor, but Thomas W. Libous, the Senate Republican deputy majority leader, was confident that a vote would come today (Friday).
Time is running out and Senate staffers have ordered protesters to vacate the third floor hallway to enable members and staffs to “move freely from office to office.” They point out that there are “countless” other areas for protesters to continue protesting. Everyone is all-around very tired.
In the meantime, we can all stare at this empty room and listen to muzak: