Gov. Andrew Cuomo is lobbying individual senators in a quest to secure what appears to be one more vote needed to legalize gay marriage in New York and deliver a major win for the national effort.
The Democrat met with three Republican senators in his Capitol office Thursday and plans to meet with more on Friday, the day Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos predicted his house would bring the bill to a floor vote.
The quietly-called meetings come as talks drag on, leading the Senateâ€™s Democratic leader to say Republicans are more concerned with protecting their majority.
Some advocates thought a gay marriage law could be enacted as early as Tuesday.
â€œThe meetings are ongoing,â€ said Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto, putting no end date to the closed-door sessions.
â€œIâ€™m still a â€˜no,â€™ Iâ€™m still talking to people, so Iâ€™ll let that speak for itself,â€ said Republican Sen. Andrew Lanza of Staten Island after leaving Cuomoâ€™s office Thursday night.
He said he continues to seek further protections for religious groups opposed to gay marriage so they canâ€™t be prosecuted for discrimination if they refuse to allow their property or services to be used during gay marriage ceremonies.
Lanza wouldnâ€™t say if he believes the bill will get a floor vote.
Republican Sens. Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie and Kemp Hannon of Long Island attended the hour-long meeting but would not comment on it. Saland has said heâ€™s undecided.
Republicans will resume their private caucus Friday and could decide to send the bill to the floor for a vote, or not introduce it at all.
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