With a controversial bill to legalize same-sex unions still waiting in the wings for a Senate vote, Republicans and Democrats in Albany are bickering like an old married couple. Earlier this week, openly-gay Democratic Senator Thomas Duane—the bill's prime sponsor—predicted he had enough votes to pass the measure, but a survey of all State Senators contradicted that assertion. And yesterday Bronx Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., who opposes the bill, blasted Duane's loose talk: "If Senator Tom Duane has the necessary Senate votes to pass the homosexual marriage bill in New York State, then he should release the names of those Senators who are supporting the bill. If not, he should shut up."

Classy. Will Duane fire back with a muffled, "Homo says what?" Not yet, but when asked about NY1's survey of State Senators on the issue, Duane remained upbeat, promising that "the bill is gonna pass, we're gonna have the vast majority of Democratic votes. And several Republican votes as well." No Senate Republicans have voiced support for the bill; the survey showed that 28 of 62 senators are opposed, with 20 in favor, nine undecided, and five noncommittal.

The state conservative party is threatening to withhold support from any Republican who breaks ranks, while other Republicans outside the Senate are getting behind the bill. Yesterday Mayor Bloomberg, a heavyweight Republican donor, reiterated his "support for getting the government out of the business of deciding of who can get married. I just think it is something that should be decided by the two individuals." Governor Paterson thinks there's still a chance the bill will pass before the legislative session ends on June 22nd: "I'm encouraged, but either way, I think it's really raised the specter of the conversation and I think it's the right thing to do."

And Republican Assemblyman Joel Miller of Poughkeepsie, who crossed party lines to support a similar bill in the Assembly, says, "This is a matter of being in America. There's no room for discrimination of any kind against anyone in this country. And sometimes even if you put your political career in jeopardy, it's still the right thing to do and to do anything otherwise is a sell-out, it's pandering, and it's the wrong thing to do and I won't do that." Meanwhile, New Hampshire is now the Wed Gay or Die State: Governor John Lynch signed legislation yesterday making the state the sixth to let gay couples wed.