Gay marriage debate heating up; Duprey supports legalization

The debate over legalizing gay marriage in New York is heating up again, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushes for passage of a bill before the end of the current legislative session.

Legalizing gay marriage, as well as enacting a property tax cap, is among Cuomo's top priorities following the passage of his budget plan earlier this spring.

This week, Cuomo kicked off a statewide tour to promote his agenda. On Wednesday, he told reporters he doesn't want to put forth a bill legalizing gay marriage unless he's certain that it will pass in the state Senate.

A similar measure failed in 2009 when Democrats held a majority in that chamber. The GOP now holds a slim 32-30 majority in the Senate and Cuomo says private negotiations are ongoing.

The legislation is sure to pass the Democrat-led state Assembly, where lawmakers have twice passed similar bills.

During a recent interview with WNBZ, North Country Assemblywoman Janet Duprey said it's tough to predict how the latest battle over gay marriage will take shape.

Duprey believes lawmakers have other, more pressing matters to attend to. But she adds that if Cuomo is making gay marriage a priority, it will be tough for the Legislature to ignore him.

"I think, certainly, we have redistricting, ethics reform, tax cap proposals - there are many priorities," she said. "I think that the governor has said this is one of his priorities before the session ends, so that makes it a priority."

For Duprey, the battle over gay marriage has continued long enough. She says it's time to settle the matter and move on.

She says if a bill legalizing gay marriage is presented in the Assembly, it's almost certain to pass. In fact, she thinks lawmakers in that chamber won't even bother voting on the bill unless a similar piece of legislation passes the Senate.

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