Update 25: I will have a full vote count up soon.
Update 24: We lost. 24-38. Unfuckingbelievable.
Update 23: Monserrate voted no. After he supported the bill in City Council and when running for Senate. Fucker. Kruger, too, who was an undecided Dem.
Elizabeth Little, a Republican, voted yes, which is great. A colleague of mine who told me this misheard.
Update 22: A "slow roll call" has been called. This is when the 2-minute announcement of positions and official votes occur. It's "slow" because you can take two minutes to explain your vote if you choose. Here we go.
Update 21: Sen. Duane, who is openly gay and the lead sponsor, is cracking jokes left and right:
"To my [undecided] colleagues, there is still time to feel my gratitude in its fullness!" Love it.
"[my partner] Lewis would be here, but who knew what day we were doing this?! How could you plan?! I know he's probably watching. Hiiii!"
"We're beating New Jersey! They may have the Jets, they may have the Giants, but we're beating New Jersey!"
"I once gave a pop quiz to a class- name 3 people you admire the most. Mothers and fathers, top vote-getters.
More serious note: "People have said to me 'now is not the time'. There's always time to be on the right side of history."
Update 20: Sen. Smith, former majority leader and now-President Pro Tempore, and a co-sponsor, is up. "Colleagues have asked me why I'm supporting marriage. When I asked back to them, why not, a good number of them would retreat to the Bible, and tell me "well, the Bible says it is wrong." What is wrong is not knowing what the Bible says and retreating to it. The Bible does not say same-sex marriage is wrong. The Bible is about fairness... what is wrong is when you quote the Bible for your own purposes. My suggestion to you, if you are Christian... is please don't quote the Bible or refer to it on what it really means." "I can vote yes because of my religion, because I can understand discrimination... when you experience discrimination, it hurts. When someone came to you... and said to you, in your face, NO, because of those reasons, it hurts, especially when you know in your heart it was the right thing to do. I have a colleague who worked for me, Shawn Thompson, my former deputy secretary. Him and his partner who are expecting twins cannot marry and complete their family. They are expecting twins! Everyone brings up religion. This is not a challenge to the church."
Also: "A win is not a debate on the floor. A win is 35 votes...(we need) to do the right thing for the people of NY."
Update 19: Sen. Stavisky went up quickly and said "I cannot stand here and oppose discrimination based on religion, race... and condone discrimination based on sexual orientation." Short and to the point.
Update 18: Sen. Oppenheimer, a co-sponsor: "Why would it diminsh my marriage? I don't understand when people say that to me." And oh boy. She's bringing out the Tikkun Olam reference. Go girl!
Update 17: Sen. Perkins, African-American and a co-sponsor- "I can see Dr. Martin Luther King looking down on us today and smiling upon us."
Update 16: General update- in terms of votes, no big surprises yet. All the people I listed below who spoke except Diaz (opposed) and Valesky are our co-sponsors, and all have confirmed they are voting yes. Valesky, a Dem from Syracuse, moved from being undecided to a Yes, which is important. No Republicans have spoken yet.
Update 15: Sen. Johnson, a co-sponsor, is up talking about how the bill simply requires a clerk to issue a license. Simple as that.
Update 14: Sen. Hassell-Thompson, a co-sponsor, talks about how her older brother is gay for the first time publicly. "First time I've said that publicly in my lifetime. His formidable talent... was not acceptable. And so he left this country and went to France. His formidable career was not something he could share with his family. I looked for my brother. My father worried but he could not ask him to come home, and so I searched consulates and embassies looking for him. Finally I got a response. He said, my father does not want to see me. I said, but your sister does, and your siblings do. And so he did come home, and made relatively frequent visits home. But he never could settle, and so he died in the south of France. And my youngest brother... went and brought his ashes home. He was not entitled to what married couples were entitled to... I am concerned about my siblings." Incredibly moving story.
Update 13: Sen. Jose M. Serrano, son of Rep. Jose Serrano and a co-sponsor, is up- "[marriage equality] will make our communities stronger. History will again prove this civil rights movement to be correct."
Update 12: Some folks have asked if the Lieutenant Governor, Dick Ravitch, can break ties. No. Only in procedural votes. We need 32 Senators, not 31 plus Ravitch.
Update 11: Sen. Montgomery, an African-American and co-sponsor, is talking about the institution of marriage as "part of the government contractual process... I want to remind people that if the minister marries you and you don't go to court, you are not married. So the marriage, really... is by the contract that is recognized and required by the government in every case."
Update 10: Sen. Squadron, a co-sponsor, spoke very nicely about religious freedom.
Update 9: Sen. Liz Krueger, a co-sponsor, is up, says she doesn't understand how anyone could vote no, urges yes.
Update 8: Sen. Savino from Staten Island, a co-sponsor, is up. "I am over the age of 40, and that's all you're gonna get from me, but i have never been able to maintain the relationship that [openly gay State Senator] Tom and his partner Lewis have." "We in government don't determine the quality of relationships. If we did, we would not issue 3/4 of the marriage licenses that we do." Throughout her whole speech I've been very impressed. A lot of folks talk generically about fairness and equality, but she has the ability, like I saw from Massa at our Netroots Nation caucus, to talk in anecdotes everyone can understand.
Update 7: Sen. Espada, the majority leader infamous for co-engineering the coup to flip to the Republicans earlier this summer, is up. He made me nervous talking about voting your conscience, but is talking about how it is historically correct to expand civil rights. "Let's send forth a message of hope by voting yes here today, and not continued to be scared into ignorance." Encourages colleagues to vote yes.
Update 6: Sen. Parker, a co-sponsor, is up talking about the benefits for the bill for gay couples: access to a partner's coverage under Medicaid and SocSec, ability to make medical decisions, right to sue for wrongful death, ability to sponsor one's partner for immigration among the major ones.
Update 5: Sen. Valesky, my boyfriend's state Senator from Syracuse, and previously undecided, is up talking. HE IS VOTING IN FAVOR. This is big, and brings us to 24 yes votes by my count. Need 32.
Update 4: Sen. Klein, whom my mother would take one look at and call a nice Jewish boy, apologizes to advocates that they took so long to debate. Word. Goes on to discuss how legalizing marriage equality would result in an economic benefit to NYC "to the tune of $200 million over a 3-year period."
Update 3: Sen. Adams, a bill co-sponsor and African-American, reads off a list of states that at one time or another sold blacks into slavery because of a vote. "Just because a numerical majority is in the right place doesn't mean they are in the right place." He also reads off quotes about how interracial marriage would be essentially the end of civilization, comments "thank God for Google". "The same statements being made about [openly gay bill sponsor] Sen. Tom Duane... are the same comments that my grandmother received." "You don't have to be gay to respect the rights of those who are."
Update 2: Sen. Schneiderman, a bill co-sponsor, references civil rights history and making Thomas Jefferson's words "ever more true". Points to MA, Vermont, Canada, NYS's next-door neighbors, which legally have marriage. Not to mention married couples living in NY as a result of Gov. Paterson's order to give equal rights to out-of-state married couples living in NYS.
Update 1: Sen. Diaz, a known opponent, is talking about how many states have voted against marriage and how many religions are against it. Awesome guy. He essentially makes the argument that we should do it through the courts, but if we did it through the courts, he would be saying it should be done through the people's representatives.
This is a live-blog for the NYS Senate marriage debate. You can also follow along on my Twitter feed.
Debate started around 12:25 PM EST. There will be four hours of debate on the bill, and then each of the 62 members will be allowed, if they choose, 2 minutes to explain their position on the bill.
Some background on procedure and whip counts below the fold: