New York state senate minority leader John Sampson released a special message Wednesday calling on his Republican colleagues to provide the pivotal votes to pass the marriage equality bill, saying, "My fellow New Yorkers, we are at the doorstep of a historic moment in the fight for equality."
As leader of the 30-member Democratic conference, Sampson, who hails from Brooklyn, shares some of the credit with Gov. Andrew Cuomo for securing yes votes from three of his undecided members from New York City - Joseph Addabbo, Shirley Huntley and Carl Kruger - who voted no in 2009. The announcement of their support on Monday became a watershed moment soon followed by an announcement of support for the first time by a Republican state senator, James Alesi. On Tuesday, Roy McDonald became the second Republican senator to support the bill, which is expected to pass the assembly for the fourth time after assurances of success in the senate.
"I hope our Republican colleagues will join us on the right side of history by giving the votes needed to finally pass marriage equality into law," said Sampson, as the Republican senators' meeting on the issue entered its third hour Wednesday afternoon. The senators must decide whether they want to bring the bill to the floor for a vote, likely in the next three days, and possibly announce whether additional Republican senators plan to support it.
"The final step is before us," he said. "To my Republican colleagues - I urge you to do what is right and join us in supporting marriage equality to give all New Yorkers the more equitable and just future they deserve."