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Report: Gay marriage bill one vote shy of clearing NY Senate

/ Source: news services

A bill to legalize gay marriage in New York is in the hands of 32 Republican state senators meeting behind closed doors, and according to reports, the measure is just a single vote away from passage.

The Senate's Republican majority is meeting to determine if the bill will be brought to a floor vote by Friday as expected.

, the measure gained precious momentum after a second Republican state senator came forward to support the bill.

Frustrated by the pressure he and fellow swing Republicans are facing, Sen. Roy J. McDonald of Saratoga offered a few blunt words for his critics.

"You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, f--- it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing," he explained in a statement to reporters.

"I’m tired of Republican, Democrat politics; I’m tired of blowhard radio people, blowhard television people, blowhard newspapers."

"They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background, I’m trying to do the right thing, and that’s where I’m going with this."

On Monday, Sen. James Alesi of Monroe County became the first Republican senator to throw his support behind the bill. In doing so, he joined three Senate Democrats who had previously voted against the measure, but who now said they supported the measure.

Speaking to reporters, the Rochester-area lawmaker said he apologized to gay rights advocates "for voting politically rather than in a way that in my heart and soul I felt I should have voted."

"What it really comes down to is one word: it's equality, which is a basic right of living in America."

Senate Republicans led an effort to easily defeat a similar bill in 2009.

But enough Democratic and Republican senators have announced changes in their votes that there may now be a tie in the chamber.

At least two Republicans say they remain undecided.

The Rev. Duane Motley, who leads a conservative Christian group, says he thinks the Senate will reject the bill. , 31 state senators from the 62-member, Republican-controlled legislature have thrown their support behind the measure.

The Assembly, controlled by Democrats, has voted in favor of same-sex marriage a number of times and is expected to do again.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo formally introduced the bill on Tuesday in both houses.