Fierce Battle Underway for N.Y. Gay Marriage

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NEW YORK -- In New York, there's a fierce campaign underway to legalize gay marriage and it's backed by two of the state's most powerful politicians.

"Yes, we are gay and we are straight, but we are one state because we're New York," Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D - N.Y., said.

Cuomo strongly supported gay marriage in his election campaign, and this year he's assembled an A-team of political strategists in Albany to fight for it.

His powerful teammate, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is also hard at work lobbying Republican fence-sitters in the state Senate.

In this latest battle, gay rights advocates are counting on Cuomo and Bloomberg to get the job done. However, traditional marriage supporters say they're backed by a multi-ethnic network of churches and the people they represent.

"It will recontextualize and reboot culture. Health care will change. They'll force the gay curriculum. It will come into the schools in greater measure," explained Bishop Joseph Mattera, who leads the political advocacy group Christ Covenant Coalition.

Mattera, who also pastors Brooklyn's Resurrection Church, said networks of clergy around the state are banding together to combat this year's push for gay marriage.

Their focus: a small group of undecided state senators.

"If we would just keep the senators that voted for traditional marriage or against same-sex marriage one-and-a-half years ago, then we'll be okay," he said.

With just days left until the end of the legislative session, both sides are stepping up the pressure. The last day of New York state's legislative session is Monday, June 20 -- just a week and a half away.

"We think the battle has to be won this time by phone calls and emails," Mattera told CBN News.

In the fight for gay marriage, advocates say New York would be the biggest prize so far and help lock up the Northeast.

It is already legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Washington, D.C.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

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