BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Will state lawmakers give gay marriage the green light? The answer could rest with a state senator from Buffalo.
Republican State Senator Mark Grisanti is not talking to the media right now. He has been wrestling with the gay marriage issue and could be the swing vote. Many in Buffalo's gay community believe this time the Senate will vote "yes."
Kitty Lambert, who has waged an eight year fight to legalize gay marriage in New York, is optimistic and is making wedding plans with her partner Cheryle Rudd. Both are grandmothers, and their blended family would include five children, and they would bring to the marriage and twelve grandchildren.
Lambert of Outspoken for Equality said, "Probably Cheryle and I will have one of the largest weddings western New York has ever seen."
Lambert, who manages the El Museo Gallery in Allentown, is more confident than ever that all the lobbying and demonstrating for gay marriage will pay off for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-gender couples.
"They must separate their personal religious beliefs from their obligation to represent LGBT New Yorkers," said Lambert.
State legislators have been lobbied from all sides on the issue. Those against gay marriage include the New York State Catholic Conference, which maintains lawmakers have a legal obligation to "create stable families and provide for the safety, health, and well being of children."
Edward Kijania said, "A marriage should be between men and women for reproduction and family."
Richard Norwood added, "God said he made man and woman. He didn't say he made man and man or woman and woman."
But the Rev. Gerard Williams of the Unity Fellowship of Christ Church says his congregation, which includes gay, lesbian, and trans-gender couples, believes all people are created in the image of God, sharing the same rights, including marriage.
Rev. Williams said, "I'm ready to go on Monday morning from the first phone call. Whoever calls first gets the first shot [at getting married]."
"We have the right to protect our family, our home, our assets. I can pass my retirement benefits to her or her to me. We're going to keep working this until it's on a federal level," said Lambert.
The State Senate could vote as early as this week, but it is still not known if there are enough GOP Senators who support legalization of gay marriage.
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