While the annual Queens Pride Parade works its way through the streets of Jackson Heights Sunday, the push to legalize same-sex marriage in New York appears to be gaining steam.
Two years ago, the last time gay-marriage was up for a vote in the state Senate, half of the eight Democratic state senators who opposed it hailed from Queens.
This year the borough remains front and center in the debate as two of the three undecided Democratic votes are from the borough.
"We have seen a sea of change in the public's attitude toward same-sex marriage," said Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Parade co-founder and City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights). [It's] "going to happen in the state and throughout the country - it's just a matter of when."
Gov. Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg have made granting gay and lesbian couples the right to get married a priority, but Cuomo has said that he won't bring legislation up for a vote unless he's sure it will pass.
Only 26 of the 30 senate Democrats are in favor of it and the bill would need 32 votes to pass. Five Republicans seem undecided.
Sens. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach), Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica) and Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn), who voted against same-sex marriage in 2009, have not declared which way they will vote. Sen. Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx) remains adamantly opposed to it.
The Empire State Pride Agenda, a state-wide LGBT advocacy organization, is making phone calls, holding meetings and delivering thousands of postcards to elected officials hoping to influence their votes, said Agenda Executive Director Ross Levi.
"Legislators from both political parties can change their minds when they hear from real families affected by this issue," Levi said.
Doug Muzzio, a political science professor at Baruch College, said he believes Cuomo will use his influence to make same-sex marriage law this time around.
"It seems that the time is right and all that needs to be hammered out is the deal," he said.
But backlash has been brewing.
State Sen. Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn) introduced a bill that would prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages conducted in states where gay marriage is legal. State agencies currently honor gay marriages performed in other states.
State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), the parade grand marshal, noted that three Queens senators who opposed same-sex marriage last time have been replaced by supporters of the gay community.
Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) took Hiram Monserrate's spot, Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) replaced George Onorato and Avella beat out Republican Frank Padavan.
"The parade has been an example of how more and more people over time are becoming more supportive of marriage equality," Avella said. "Marriage equality will pass, it's just a matter of time."
If legislators legalize same-sex marriage this month, New York will the fifth state to do so. The practice is also legal in the District of Columbia.
Here is a timeline of the states that have legalized civil unions and same-sex marriages:
July 2000: Vermont legalizes civil unions.
Nov. 2003: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court legalizes same-sex marriage.
April 2005: Connecticut legalizes civil unions.
Dec. 2006: New Jersey legalizes civil unions.
May 2007: New Hampshire Legislature approves civil unions.
May 2008: California Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage.
October 2008: Connecticut court legalizes same-sex marriage.
Nov. 2008: California voters approve Proposition 8 - marriage is only between a man and a woman.
April 2009: Iowa and Vermont legalize same-sex marriages.
June 2009: New Hampshire legalizes same-sex marriage.
March 2010: Same-sex marriage becomes legal in the District of Columbia.
Aug. 2010: A California judge rules that the Proposition 8 violates the Constitution. It is now in appeals.
Feb. 2011: Hawaii approves civil unions.
Jan. 2011: Illinois legalizes civil unions.May 2011: Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signs state's civil unions bill into law.