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Yes, according to Manhattan’s Sen. Thomas Duane (right), who claims he’s got 32 senators locked up, though he’s not yet naming names. In a news conference yesterday, Duane announced, “I’m telling you we have the votes, it’s coming to the floor, it’s passing.” This is big, not just because it means there’s a real possibility of legalizing same-sex marriage in New York (State No. 7?), but because, if true, it would also force Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (below) from making good on one promise (to only bring the issue up for a vote only if there were enough votes to pass it) and breaking another (the one he made to bigot Sen. Ruben Diaz not to let gay marriage come up for a vote, in exchange for Diaz supporting him as majority leader).
As attentive readers already know, Gov. David Paterson introduced his own bill to legalize same-sex marriage and originally called for legislators to vote on it even if they didn’t have the numbers to pass it. Meanwhile, the State Assembly passed its own version of the bill last month, which means we’re just waiting to see whether Senate Democrats like Duane can round up enough Republican supporters to cancel out the “no” votes expected from senators like the Bronx’s Diaz and Brooklyn’s Carl Kruger.
According to Duane, he did just that, and now believes he can get the State Senate to vote on the bill before the legislative session ends this month.
And that’s a — beautiful, we’d argue — political nightmare for Smith, who sold his civil rights soul to score his top job.