To watch the New York State Assembly debate and vote live go here.
I will be updating this post as warranted throughout the evening (newer updates first):
- 7:42 PM - Born of immigrant Dominican parents, 39th District Assemblymember Jose Peralta (Queens) speaks movingly about his upbringing in a conservative Catholic family, of being taught to treat others with dignity and respect, of representing the 2nd largest Latino LGBT community in the United States (2nd only to Manhattan's). He invokes his "LGBT brothers and sisters" in supporting a yes vote on the bill.
- 7:02 PM - Thunder and lighting!! For real.
- 6:29 PM - Debate is ON!!!!
- 6:00 PM - Recess is taking a bit longer than expected. According to Capitol Confidential it was taken to "accomodate the Republican minority who wanted to meet" just before the debate. The Confidential also says that support might be in the 80's with some Republicans rumored to be joining the Democratic majority in voting in favor of the bill (76 yay votes are needed for the measure to pass the Assembly).
- 4:59 PM - House in recess 'til 5:30pm; off the floor The Agenda is reporting that the Assembly Rules Committee has voted 21-8 to advance the bill. Among those votes? ASSEMBLY SPEAKER SHELDON SILVER WHO HAS VOTED IN FAVOR OF MOVING THE BILL FOWARD.
- 4:21 PM - The oh-so-boring roll call process is being enlivened by - ehem - hunky Democratic Assemblyman Luis M. Diaz from the Bronx who for some reason is sitting in Speaker Sheldon Silver's chair and overseeing the process. Debate on the marriage bill has yet to come up.
- The Albany Times-Union Capitol Confidential blog puts the time of debate at 4:00pm and has a memo released by the Catholic Conference stating that, while they dignify us and love us, marriage for the gays would be "disastrous" for society. Big surprise.
- The New York Daily News Daily Politics blog says that the debate will open after 3:30pm and says that some conservative State Assembly Republicans see this as a win since they predict that the move to debate such a bill will ultimately reflect bad on Democrats in the Assembly.