Undecided NY GOP senator to vote for gay marriage

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The Republican-led Senate has passed
protections for religious groups opposed to gay marriage on its way
to taking up a vote on legalizing same sex marriage.

The 36-26 vote in the Senate and the Assembly nod to the exemptions earlier Friday evening cleared the way for the final decision on whether New York will become the country's sixth state
to recognize same-sex marriages.

Moments earlier, veteran Republican Sen. Stephen Saland told The Associated Press he has long been undecided but will vote for it. Saland voted against a similar bill in 2009, helping kill the measure and dealing a blow to the national gay rights movement. If all vote as they has said they would, the measure would pass.

Gay rights advocates are hoping a yes vote will give added momentum to their efforts.

Associated Press writer Michael Virtanen contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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