The good news: the New York State Senate had an actual up-and-down floor vote on a controversial and important issue. Bad news: they voted down Gay Marriage. Nice work, everyone.

The Democrats have a one-seat majority, so, of course, the bill went down 38-24. Not a single Republican supported it.

Meanwhile, Washington DC's city council embarrassed all of us by overwhelmingly approving gay marriage.

Openly gay Sate Senator Tom Duane sponsored the bill. The State Senate generally doesn't vote on anything until passage is ensured, but, to his credit, Governor Paterson pushed the Senate to actually vote on the marriage bill instead of letting it wither and die in legislative gridlock, as Senate leaders preferred.

Debate quietly began this afternoon, with the bill's supporters generally being more vocal (this speech, from Staten Island Sen. Diane Savino, is particularly moving). And then it went to an up-and-down vote with no one having any idea whether it would pass or not, and then it didn't, because some Democratic senators are cowards, some Democratic senators are bigots, and all the Albany Republicans are both.

Update: these are the Democrats, many of whom have received gay money, who voted Nay on equality: Carl Kruger, Bill Stachowski, Ruben Diaz Sr., Joe Addabbo, Darrel Aubertine, Hiram Monserrate, Shirley Huntley and George Onorato.