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Gay marriage bill coming to floor tonight

ALBANY -- Senate Republicans say they have decided to put the gay marriage rights bill to the floor later tonight.

There is much speculation about the leanings of at least two Republican senators, including Buffalo Sen. Mark Grisanti. Earlier today, Grisanti said he is struggling deeply over the issue, but said he has not yet made up his mind.

"I am still right there on the fence,'' Grisanti said at 5:30pm.

Passage is one vote shy in the Senate in advance of the actual voting. Sen. Steve Saland, a Dutchess County Republican, is another who advocates say could flip his vote from no the last time the bill was considered two years ago to a yes vote tonight.

One Senate Republican who attended the hours' long private meeting today said Grisanti and Saland did not reveal how they might vote tonight.

New York would become the sixth state to permit gay marriages.

"After many hours of deliberation and discussion over the past several weeks among the members, it has been decided that same-sex marriage legislation will be brought to the full Senate for an up or down vote. As I have said many times, this is a very difficult issue and it will be a vote of conscience for every member of the Senate,'' said Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

-- Tom Precious

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