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Gay marriage bill moves closer to vote

By Joyce Kryszak

Albany, NY – The long-awaited fate of the gay marriage rights bill could finally be decided Thursday night. Senate Republicans are expected to hash out details of the bill in conference through Thursday.

Among the sticking points are expanded protections from the bill for religious organizations. Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos said a vote could come late Thrusday night.

However, Skelos said Republicans also could decide the bill does not have enough support. Passage is still, at least at last count, one vote shy. Republican Senator Mark Grisanti of Buffalo is considered a key swing vote.

Skelos said lawmakers should move quickly through other matters Thursday. That includes expected passage of a property tax cap strongly backed by the Governor, as well as tuition hikes for the State's universities, including UB.

Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver also said he expects the session will wrap up Thursday night.