Note from Bil:Rev Emily Heath is spending the day in Albany to monitor New York's proposed legislation to legalize marriage equality. She'll be sending in dispatches throughout the day and this post will be updated as news comes in.
8:47am - On way to Capitol now. Not much happened in the night except one advocacy group erroneously tweeted that the bill had made it out of Rules. That false information spread like wildfire over Twitter and was even picked up by some equality groups. A simple check with the official Senate feed showed it wasn't true. There is also word that Republicans fear being called into special session By Cuomo if they don't have a vote being ending this session.
9:17am - Very little activity at Capitol. At this time yesterday anti-equality supporters were already lining the halls on the third floor. Right now we see next to no one. Both parties go into caucus at 10. Senate back in session at 11.
10:14am - Anti-equality folks starting to arrive and fill hall outside Republican conference. Very few of us here. Marc Solomon is here from Freedom to Marry, waiting with us to see what Sen. Skelos will say when he comes out.
10:45am - I just had a good, sincere discussion with a bill opponent. He asked if it was true that LGBT people have generally been sexually traumatized. I told him I'd never been. He asked if I had a broken family. I said my parents have been married fifty years. He seemed genuinely surprised and like he was considering things. We shook hands and parted ways.
More updates after the break.
10:50am - We are outnumbered about ten to one in the halls. But the vote is rumored to be coming at 1 or 2am, so folks are pacing themselves. If you come, sit in the gallery and be a visible reminder to senators.
11:09am - Pastor preaching in hall that LGBT people die 20-30 years younger. Also saying every LGBT person he has met has had sexual trauma.
They passed out sheet music and started to sing Amazing Grace. I sang along. They didn't offer me sheet music, but I knew the words anyway.
11:40am - There is news that there will be a lengthy GOP conference later today to deal with when/if marriage bill will come to a vote. Nothing definite yet. Trying to verify.
11:48am - It's being reported that the rent issue is still not settled. It may be a while.
12:23pm - Senate at ease. Going into Rules at 1.
1:29pm - Senate back in session. Sen. Silver hoping for vote on rent/tax issue in late afternoon or early evening.
1:40pm - A man started shouting angrily, "Sexual promiscuity kills!" In some strange way doesn't that support equal marriage, at least in its ideal form?
2:40pm - Protesters holding up strong in the halls. Lots of great young activists. They look exhausted but are pushing themselves hard. I'm hearing a lot of them want more updates about what's going on. We have been seeing some staffers from various groups rush tirelessly all day from place to place. Others sitting in the senate lobby seemingly waiting for some news.
2:43pm - Hearing unsubstantiated reports that bill is now in GOP conference. Trying to verify.
2:50pm - NY Senate feed confirms that since the session is not open, we have no definite information about whether or not the marriage bill is being conferenced right now.
3:09pm - Dear pro-equality folks: I appreciate the sentiment but does our chant have to be set to the Barney theme song?
3:34pm - More pro-equality activists arriving. There is a lot of energy, but things feel a little disorganized. No clear organizer here, and with no clear leadership the new folks are actively engaging with opposition. There has been some verbal confrontation, which is not helping our cause. People who have been here all week are trying to step in when things get heated. Troopers look frustrated.
3:39pm - AP is quoting Jay Carney that Obama will not make any "new declarations of position" tonight at New York City fundraiser.
3:57pm - Yesterday the Senate named corn the official state vegetable. Today an anti-equality guy is walking around with a sign that says, "Corn is not a vegetable! Stop redefining things!" It also has a no equal marriage sign on it.
4:11pm - GOP out of conference. Rules at 4:30. No other information yet.
4:15pm - Cursory reading of Rules agenda an I don't see marriage there. That doesn't necessarily mean it won't come up.
5:14pm - Senate is at rest until 6:45pm.
5:22pm - The word is we are "at ease" while some bills are being printed. I would not take that to mean the marriage bills yet. There's a lot of other business first.
6:25pm - Cuomo still just saying, "cautiously optimistic".
6:45pm - Walking back into Capitol with another Senator and he told us that Sen. Ball has officially declared his "no" vote.
6:55pm - Our side chants "civil rights". The other sings "Amazing Grace". I believe the two actually have a lot to do with one another.
We are hearing rumors of 3am. Some think the vote will be held until after papers go to print.
7:20pm - Just noticed that state police are now carrying what appear to be tasers on their weapons belts. Perhaps a sign they are expecting strong reactions tonight?
8:34pm - The crowd outside the senate lobby.
8:47pm - Final video, or, the reason you may never hear from me again.
8:57pm - More police are being called in. Pride groups urging our folks to go into "silent, respectful" mode.
9:14pm - That "silent" thing isn't panning out. Chants continue.
9:21pm - Senate back in session. Don't see marriage on agenda yet.
9:34pm - There is a full-on revival happening on the other side of the hall here. Beautiful singing, but not our supporters.
Senate at rest.
9:40pm - Rules committee meeting, but we are not on the agenda this time.
9:53pm - Senator Liz Kruger just passed a few of us and said, "We're going to get this done."
9:57pm - Shouts from equality folks: This is what democracy looks like.
10:04pm - This is how the rest of the night will go: Rules, Senate, Rules, Senate, etc. They are cycling rapidly.
Troopers are in the actual galleries tonight.
10:38pm - There are rumors that the Governor is in the building, but no evidence yet. We are seeing what we think are plain clothes officers.
10:46pm - I'm hearing reports that they are not getting agreement on rent numbers. That has to go through first.
10:56pm - Senate adjourning for night. Back in session at 10am.