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Dobbs Ferry Minister in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

A potential passing of the same-sex marriage bill in New York would be long overdue according to Rev. Joseph Gilmore of the South Presbyterian Church in Dobbs Ferry.

"From my point of view it's clearly past time for such a vote," Gilmore said. "The issues of fair play and equity and justice have been delayed for gay and lesbian people and bisexual and transgendered people for way too long."

State Lawmakers are just one vote away from passing a same-sex marriage bill in New York. Senator Roy McDonald (R-Saratoga) announced last Tuesday that he will support the bill. He becomes the 31st Senator to do so publicly. The measure needs 32 votes to pass the Senate.

The legislation could hinge on two key votes by Senators from Westchester and the Hudson Valley. On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo formally introduced the bill in both the Assembly and Senate.

State Senator Greg Ball (R-C, Patterson), whose district includes Peekskill, Yorktown, Somers, Mount Kisco and Bedford, announced Wednesday that he does not support the bill as it's currently written.

The Senator said he "made it clear to Governor Cuomo" that he would be an "absolute no vote," unless there are proper religious exceptions, including the Catholic Church.

State Assemblyman Steven Saland (R-Poughkeepsie), who is considered to be another swing vote, has stated that he is "undecided" about the measure.

Gilmore argued that New York should be a model for the rest of the country in acceptance and inclusion of same-sex marriages.

"I feel impatient with the legislation for taking so long in New York State to act on this because after all we live in a state that includes the great metropolitan New York [City]," Gilmore said. "It's a world center and this state should be a model for a community of inclusion and until this vote happens, it's not."

While not everyone is supportive of the bill, a decision could come soon to override previous decisions in New York. Same-sex marriage legislation was defeated in the New York State Senate in 2009. It has passed in the Assembly numerous times. If approved, New York would become the sixth state in the nation to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Gay marriages are currently recognized in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont, Washington D.C. and Oregon.

A vote on the measure is expected soon. Governor Cuomo has said he supports same-sex marriages, and is expected to sign the bill, if it's passed.

Where do you stand on the marriage question? Tell us below.

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