Same Sex Marriage Vote May Come Monday

June 19, 2011 Updated Jun 19, 2011 at 11:33 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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June 19, 2011 Updated Jun 19, 2011 at 11:33 PM EDT


BUFFALO (WKBW) The "Marriage Equality Act" that would legalize same-sex marriage in New York State could come before the State Senate for a vote on Monday. So on Sunday, those in support of the bill gave a last minute push for its passage.

Gay rights activists, religious supporters, and those simply pushing for equality gathered Sunday afternoon at the Fellowship Christian Center in Buffalo to send their message to Albany.

Kitty Lambert is the President of the group "Outspoken for Equality" and has been one of the biggest proponents for this bill.

"Generations from now, we're going to look back on who voted yes and who voted no. And you've got to decide where you want to fall under those columns. What do you want to be remembered for?" she said.

With the Senate expected to vote on the "Marriage Equality Act," many of the LGBT community are anxious, but staying positive.

"It's a milestone. And the whole nation looks at us as that. to be that," said Terry Purdue, a strong advocate for the bill.

A recent hurdle for the bill has been controversy over whether clergy who are opposed to same sex marriage would be forced to perform unions. But activists say that is not the case at all.

"There are explicit protections in this piece of legislation, protecting churches and individuals, from any recrimination, if they choose to marry an LGBT couple," Lambert said. She added that it has always been a Constitutionally protected right for churches to marry, or choose not to marry, whoever they want. All she says she wants is to be able to become legally married, and have it done by someone who wants to marry her and her partner.

Now it just comes down to the votes, where Western New York Senator Mark Grisanti could be the potential swing vote. But just hours before a potentially historic piece of legislation is voted on, its supporters are still very confident.

"Unrestrained jubilation. There aren't enough words to explain how I will now feel," Purdue said.

"Woohah! When this is done, you're going to hear that everywhere. That just encompasses all of the emotions wrapped up in this," Lambert added.

The New York State Senate is expected to vote on the bill Monday mainly because it is the last day of scheduled legislative sessions in Albany.