State Senator Tom Duane of Manhattan, the openly gay, hyper-vocal proponent of marriage equality, said yesterday that he's received private assurances from at least 32 of his colleagues that they will vote in favor of a marriage-equality bill introduced by Governor Paterson and recently passed by the State Assembly. Though he wouldn't specify which senators had pledged support, he did say the list included several Republicans. "I would not want to deny them the pleasure of telling you themselves. That would just be wrong and really impolite of me to do that," he said, assuring simply: "I have the votes." He also predicted that the Senate would vote on the issue before the June 22 end of the legislative session. Empire State Pride Agenda executive director Alan Van Cappelle cautioned that "there is still work to be done," and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, who has said he won't put the bill to a vote unless he knows it will pass, has made no moves to bring it to the floor. Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., an anti-gay minister who vehemently opposes the marriage-equality bill, has claimed that Duane is purposefully skewing the vote tally to bring the measure to the floor. "It's unprofessional to be playing with people's minds," said Diaz, who has publicly made his own predictions and number claims in order to prevent a vote from taking place.
Photo: Getty Images