It’s Pride weekend in New York City, and the New York State Senate conducted a rare Friday night session with marriage equality on the agenda. Some time after midnight, it became official: In New York, there’s no straight marriage, no gay marriage, no opposite marriage. Just marriage.
The Senate, by a 33 to 29 margin, passed a landmark marriage equality bill that allows same-sex couples the right to legally marry in New York. With the Assembly having voted on both the original bill and the amendments for religious exemptions, the bill landed on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk quickly. He signed it immediately.
New York becomes the biggest state to allow same-sex marriage and joins five other states — Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont (and Washington DC) — in legally recognizing the rights of gay couples to marry. Conversely, 31 states have constitutional restrictions limiting marriage to one woman and one man.
Of course, there’s always this, too:
New York Times and FiveThirtyEight statistician Nate Silver didn’t need to crunch difficult numbers for this one, but it’s an incredible stat nonetheless. This Senate vote “will more than double the number of Americans living in states with marriage equality.”
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed the legislation and negotiated ably with Senate Republicans to bring a vote to the Senate floor, which had been blocked. After a day spent cobbling together religious exemptions, Majority Leader Dean Skelos announced that the legislation would see a vote on Friday night. The legislation, and the exemptions, had both been approved by the State Assembly.
Senator Mark Grisanti was one of the four Republicans who voted with 29 of 30 Democrats in favor of the legislation. His speech about his evolution on the issue, about his rational decision-making, about his study and research, and he came to this conclusion:
Should this be the new Republican position on marriage equality?
Cuomo, after all his hard work, said he’s more proud than ever to be a New Yorker:
Gay men and women flocked to The Stonewall Inn, the New York City landmark synonymous with the gay rights movement, to have some fun on a historic night in the Empire State.
(image via @DavidMixner)
Is this just New York being New York, or will other states begin to fall in line? Will President Obama, who said his views on marriage equality are “evolving” ahead of Thursday’s LGBT fundraiser for his reelection campaign, continue to evolve fast enough to pick this up on a national level?
(headline adapted from a great tweet by @rangrol)