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Moving in on gay marriage

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Another bill allowing gay marriage was passed by the New York State Assembly Tuesday with some mixed voting by the Brooklyn delegation.

While one “on the fence” assemblymember voted in favor of the measure, two more Brooklyn legislators voted against the bill, according to a tally.

The bill ultimately passed the Assembly with a vote of 89 to 52. The bill first passed the Assembly in 2007 with a vote of 85 to 61, but was never brought up for a vote in the Senate.

The bill seeks to amend the domestic relations law, giving same−sex couples the legal right to wed. It also ensures that the bill “does not improperly intrude into matters of conscience or religious belief,” meaning that clergy and religious leaders would not be compelled to perform same−sex marriages if they don’t want to.

While all of the downtown Assemblymembers voted in favor of gay marriage, several southern Brooklyn legislators −− all Democrats −− balked at the bill.

Assemblymembers Peter Abatte of Dyker Heights, Inez Barron of East New York, Bill Colton of Bensonhurst, Steven Cymbrowitz of Sheepshead Bay, Dov Hikind of Borough Park and Nick Perry of East Flatbush all voted against the bill, officials in Albany said.

Yet Coney Island Assemblymember Alec Brook−krasny voted for gay marriage, although he abstained from voting last time. Crown Heights Assemblyman Karim Camara, who also abstained in 2007, abstained again this year, officials said.

Advocates for gay marriage hailed the passage of the bill, although this is the first step in a long process.

“The bill was passed with more votes on Tuesday than it received when it passed the same body four years ago. I take that as a sign of great progress,” said longtime gay−marriage advocate Josh Skaller, who is currently running for City Council.

“I have always been a strong voice of support for marriage equality in our state,” Carroll Gardens Assemblymember Joan Millman said in a statement. “It is exciting to see that momentum is building in New York and all over the country to pass similar laws and it is my hope that this year the Senate will recognize that a majority of New Yorkers support same−sex marriage and vote to reflect this reality.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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