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NY advocates rally to legalize gay marriage

ALBANY — A New York state senator who is a high-profile advocate of legalizing gay marriage told supporters Monday that there are still not enough votes in the Republican-controlled Senate to pass the bill.

Manhattan Democrat Thomas Duane said all Republican senators and some Democrats voted down the legislation in 2009, though some had said privately they would support it. He reminded about 1,000 cheering supporters at the annual Pride Agenda conference that they were betrayed and should now demand legislators make their statements of support public.

“They would not vote in favor of our right to be married and they would not vote in favor of GENDA if the vote were held today,” said Duane, who is gay. The so-called Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act would add the category of gender identity to state laws against discrimination based on age, race, creed, sex, national origin or sexual orientation.

Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy told the group that the gay-marriage bill remains one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top three legislative issues but they have “a little fight ahead.” It has previously passed in the Democrat-controlled Assembly.