It all hinges now on the state Senate. There are conflicting reports about the number of votes that suggest that prospects for its passage are brighter than first thought. It has already passed the Assembly. Governor Patterson will sign it. Leading the opposition is Ruben Diaz, senator from the Bronx. He is officially a Democrat, but he is also a conservative evangelical minister who takes a hard line against both gay rights and reproductive rights. He recently got into a lot of hot water with the Jewish community for comparing abortion in the USA to the Holocaust. He also made trouble for himself when he said that Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court would be "bad for Christians." He backed away from that statement after a lot of complaints from his own constituents. The Tillman murder out in Kansas has dogged him (fairly or unfairly) in recent days, even though he said that he unequivocally condemns the murder. To his credit, Senator Diaz opposes the death penalty, unlike most American conservative evangelicals.
Ruben Diaz opposes gay marriage for entirely religious reasons. Almost all of the arguments for gay marriage try to separate the civil from the religious argument. The religious argument gets sidestepped entirely. That's understandable because of the very wide diversity of religious allegiances in this state, and because of the constitutional separation of church and state in this country. But, I think the religious argument FOR gay marriage can and should be made in public. Religion is not supposed to sway legislative decisions (officially anyway), but it certainly does sway public opinion. A religious argument should be made, and made publicly, to challenge the likes of Ruben Diaz.