Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:
1. After a week of negotiations, the New York State Senate may finally vote today on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s marriage equality bill. If the Senate doesn’t vote on the bill before it adjourns, it’s likely Cuomo would call a special session. Legislative leaders reportedly have agreed “conceptually” on language that would expand religious protections to satisfy some Republicans, but the amendments hadn’t been printed, so there was nothing to vote on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama will speak at a gay campaign fundraiser today in Manhattan, and groups including GetEQUAL are planning a “A Demonstration for Full Equality” outside.
2. In a setback for those who’ve been defying the church’s ban on officiating same-sex weddings, a Methodist pastor was found guilty Wednesday of marrying a lesbian couple. A jury of 13 clergy members that unanimously convicted the Rev. Amy DeLong is expected to announce her punishment today, which could range from suspension to defrocking. DeLong was found not guilty of a second charge that she is a “self-avowed practicing homosexual,” after she declined to answer whether her relationship includes sexual contact.
3. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is unlikely to certify the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” before he steps down at the end of this month, leading to concerns about further delays in ending the ban on open military service.