Leave it to a gay marriage bill to make it feel like everyone seems to be playing for the wrong team. The Daily News is reporting that Governor Paterson is getting serious about reaching across the aisle and courting Republicans to help pass his bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New York. And who might his ace (or Gary) in the hole be? None other than former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.

Elizabeth Benjamin reports that Paterson's strategy is that a Bruno endorsement "would provide 'cover' for some Republicans to vote 'yes' on legalizing gay marriage." A source tells her, "The fact is, he has a rapport with the people they need, and he's not known for being a right-wing fanatic. This would not be inconsistent with his live-and-let-live philosophy."

After resigning from his post in the State Senate last year, Bruno has been working as a lobbyist. In 2002, he got behind the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act and helped it pass in the Senate after being stalled there for decades.

Paterson will almost certainly need help from Republicans in order to get bill through the Senate since right now six Democrats have come out and declared they would vote against it. While no GOP senators have publicly stated they would vote for it, a total of seven said they were either undecided or refused to respond to NY1's recent poll of the state senators. The News also mentions that lobbyists are reminding on-the-fence senators that no Assembly members who voted "yes" on the 2007 gay marriage bill lost reelection races last year.

As for those Democrats against the bill, the most outspoken opponent, Senator Ruben Diaz spoke to WNYC's Brian Lehrer today in a spirited interview. Lehrer continually pushed Diaz on just who "gets hurt" if marriage is allowed for gay couples. Diaz said that "everybody" did and added, "My understanding of family values gets hurt. My belief in the Bible gets hurt." He also claimed that poll numbers for New Yorkers who support gay marriage legislation have gone down in the last month "after all the education I've done."

Elsewhere today, the Supreme Court refused to review the Pentagon's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that prevents gays from openly serving in the military. Upon hearing the news, Diaz said that he believed it was further proof of where Americans stand and that the gay marriage issue was being forced upon us.