New York Becomes Sixth State To Approve Gay Marriage
A major victory for supporters of same-sex marriage on Friday night, as New York became the sixth, and largest, state to make it legal for gay and lesbian couples to wed.
The landmark legislation passed in the Republican-controlled New York Senate by a 33-29 vote. Four GOP state Senators and all but one Democratic state Senator supported the measure.
Among the Republicans voting in favor of the bill was Mark. J. Grisanti, who ran for his Buffalo Senate seat with a promise to oppose same-sex marriage.
“I apologize for those who feel offended,” Grisanti said, “I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is the same rights that I have with my wife.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who had made legalizing same-sex marriage in the state one of his top priorities for the year, signed the legislation just before midnight. It will go into effect in 30 days, meaning same-sex couples should be allowed to marry by the end of next month.
“New York made a powerful statement. Not just for the people of New York, but people all across this nation. We reached a new level of social justice this evening," Cuomo said.
Five other states--Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Iowa--and Washington, D.C. also permit gay and lesbian couples to marry.