New York lawmakers rejected a bill today that would have made their state the sixth to allow gay marriage. The measure failed by a wider-than-expected margin of 38-24. Not a single Republican senator voted in favor, dooming the bill's chances. Gov. David Paterson, a strong advocate, had pledged to sign it into law.
Senate sponsor Thomas Duane, a Manhattan Democrat and the Legislature's first openly gay member, vowed not to give up his life's goal. "I'm like a dog with a bone," he said. "Because I don't give up. I don't know how to." New York doesn't allow civil unions, but it has several laws, executive orders, and court decisions that grant many of the rights to gays long enjoyed by married couples.