Once again, though, the state Senate blocked the bill allowing same-sex marriage.
This battle between the Assembly and Senate is the reason why the State's human rights laws include no provisions for transgenders (i.e., language that protects "gender identity and expression"). What's worse it that the Senate has prevented the inclusion of such provisions for the past forty years.
As I understand it, some state Senators are willing to vote for same-sex marriage as long as there is no protection for transgenders. And others want exemptions for religious institutions. So a program that was funded by the Catholic Church, or any other, could refuse to recognize same-sex marriages and grant benefits to the spouses of their gay employees.
The Legislature will hold its last session on Monday before going into recess. Some Assembly members are trying to get an extension for the bill that would allow for a vote after the Legislature returns. Otherwise, the bill would be shelved and would have to be re-introduced in future sessions of the Legislature.