Now that New York’s Democrats are set to control the State Senate, Governor Paterson and the Democratic senators appear to be getting cold feet about their support for same-sex marriage. “We have our economy to deal with, and that should be first and foremost on everybody’s mind,” says one Democratic senator. “I don’t think it’s a priority in Paterson’s eyes. If he keeps talking about how to put money into people’s pockets, he’s going to get reelected. If he loses focus and starts talking about controversial issues, he’s not.” Indeed, the governor “supports gay marriage, but right now we are focusing all of our energy on getting the state’s finances in order,” a spokeswoman says. Plus, the Senate Democrats’ leader, Malcolm Smith, is facing a potential rebellion from three senators, whose votes would cost him the leadership, in part over his pro-marriage position. “The economy is going to be a problem with us for quite a while.,” says Freedom to Marry chief Evan Wolfson. “It can’t be an excuse forever. ”
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