[JURIST] The New York State Assembly [official website] Tuesday passed a bill [A08590 bill information] to legalize same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] following three hours of often emotional debate. The bill was proposed [press release; JURIST report] in April by New York Governor Eliot Spitzer [official website], and was sponsored in the Assembly [press release] by gay Assemblymember Daniel O'Donnell [official website], brother of talk show host Rosie O'Donnell. Assemblymember O'Donnell, who has been with his partner for 25 years, opened debate by saying that civil unions do not provide equality. The 85-61 vote included support from four Republicans. One, Assemblymember Teresa Sayward [official website], told her colleagues about the struggles faced by her gay son, and asked them to "do the right thing."
Despite the support of the Governor and the Assembly, it is unlikely that the bill will be passed anytime soon by the Republican-controlled New York State Senate [official website]. State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R) [official website] said that the legislation will not be voted on this year. AP has more.