New York is one step closer to becoming the sixth state to legalize gay marriage.
The state assembly passed legislation Tuesday night, but the bill could face a tougher battle in the state senate.
Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes
It was a long Tuesday night in the New York Assembly. After about four hours of debate, the same-sex marriage bill passed by a vote of 89 to 52.
However, the assembly passed the bill in 2007 and it died in the senate. So far, there does not appear to be the 32 votes in the senate to pass the measure.
But the battle continues with New York's Catholic governor leading the charge to get a bill on his desk and New York's Catholic archbishop taking a vocal stand against it.
"We stand to tell the world that we want equality for everyone," said Gov. David Patterson. "We stand to tell the world that we want marriage equality in New York State."
"My brother bishops here in New York are already beginning to formulate a good stand and public posture on that, and you can count on me to be a part of that," said Archbishop Timothy Dolan.
Not Clear When State Senate Will Work on Measure
Democrats did not control the New York State Senate when they defeated this bill in 2007. They do now. But it is not clear when the senate will take up the issue.
The legislative session ends in June and the majority leader says he won't bring the issue to the senate floor until the 32 votes are secured.
So for now, gay marriage is legal in the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and Maine.