New York Senate Majority Leader Sen. Reporting from New York — New York, where the gay rights movement was born but has run up against conservative forces, could again change the political landscape for gays by becoming the largest state to allow same-sex marriage. Advocates guided by first-term Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo have been maneuvering before the end of the legislative session Monday to get the one vote needed to win approval in the Republican-led state Senate. Supporters say the momentum is on their side, but opponents are still pushing to prevent the measure from reaching the Senate floor. Although five states allow gay couples to marry, New York would be by far the most populous and diverse state to do so.
Opponents point to voter defeats of same-sex marriage laws in 31 other states, but nationwide polls show growing acceptance of the idea. A wave of gay and lesbian marriages in New York would establish a new reality that defenders of traditional marriage might find difficult to overcome in public opinion or the courts. Interactive: Track gay marriage rights in the U. California voters approved Proposition 8 to ban same-sex marriage after it was briefly legal in 2008. On Wednesday, the Democratic-dominated Assembly easily approved the bill a fourth time, but the Senate remained divided, with 31 of 62 senators committed to approving it.