[I]t looks like today’s special election for a vacant New York State Senate seat is flipping the district from Republican to Democrat. [JMG: It did.] Which means that a 40-plus-year Republican hold on the State Senate is down to one seat in the 62-member body. (Democratic Lieutenant Governor David Paterson would vote in the case of a 31-31 Senate tie.)
Now, that’s a good sign for one big reason. First, a Democratic Senate could make life far easier for gay New Yorkers. This is no slam dunk, of course… some of those Senate Democrats are somewhat conservative, and all of them are damned pragmatic. Still, it is probable that gay rights bills — which in recent years have stalled in the legislature, largely because of the Senate — will start to advance, especially if some Republican allies feel emboldened (like they did in the State Assembly) to vote their conscience, instead of following the party line to ruin.
Cross your fingers, kiddies. The NY State Senate has been all that stands in the way of marriage equality in New York. The State Assembly is already there and Gov. Spitzer is ready to sign.