The Senate will be gaveled into session at 2 pm, and the only thing on the agenda is HB 75, the Marriage Equality bill that passed the House on April 23 by a vote of 23 to 18. According to sources and scuttlebutt, Senator Cathy Cloutier and Senator Bob Marshall are voting yes. The only real mystery is the vote of Senator Bethany Hall Long. Those working this bill say they have 12 votes, and if the rest of the whip count stays as I display below, that would mean Hall Long is voting yes. Until it happens though, I won’t believe it. Perhaps Senators Ennis or Venables will change their minds and be the 12th vote. Or perhaps Ernie Lopez of Greg Lavelle will surprise, though it is hard to see how Lopez survives politically in his party if he does vote yes. Lavelle may vote yes given his upstate district, but if he has hopes of higher office he will have to deal with his rabid bigoted Republican base, who will not take kindly to a yes vote.
But all of that is academic, since, if all the Senators in the yes column stay true to their pronouncements, Marriage Equality will be the law of the land.