New York Senate approves same-sex marriage
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo addresses the press and public after signing the state's same-sex marriage bill into law.
June 24th, 2011
10:22 PM ET

New York Senate approves same-sex marriage

[Update 4:52 a.m.] New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the state's marriage equality bill hours after it passed the Republican-controlled Senate on Friday night, making it the sixth state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. Cuomo signed the bill into law after the legislature cleared the way to legalize same-sex marriage with a 33-29 vote, the first time a state Senate with a Republican majority has approved such a bill.

[Original post 11:21 p.m.] New York legislators cleared the last major hurdle to legalize same-sex marriage Friday when the state Senate followed the Assembly's lead in approving legislation to do so.

Earlier in the day, the Assembly passed a version of the bill that included an amendment about religious institutions. The Friday night vote in the Senate means the legislation's fate is now in the hands of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who proposed it.

The Senate vote came after lawmakers agreed on an amendment that would help protect religious institutions from potential lawsuits, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said.Demonstrators have gathered for days in Albany as state lawmakers pored over the details of the bill, which would help make New York the nation's sixth and largest state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The vote on the marriage measure, which the state Assembly passed June 15, was stalled in part by Republican concerns over protections for religious institutions against the potential for litigation.

Cuomo says the bill would grant same-sex couples equal rights to marry "as well as hundreds of rights, benefits and protections that are currently limited to married couples of the opposite sex."

Currently, five states - Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire - and the District of Columbia grant same-sex marriage licenses.

The passage of same-sex marriage laws faced a daunting history in the New York state legislature.

The Senate rejected a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in 2009 and has blocked the last three attempts by the state's lower house to get the proposed legislation signed into law.

Although New York currently does not grant same-sex marriages, a 2008 appellate court ruling upheld the right of couples to have their same-sex marriages recognized if they are performed elsewhere.

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Filed under: New York • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (604 Responses)
  1. smarter than you

    @ Emelia Kanson... yeah i know my spelling was off last night... i was blogging from my phone...

    June 25, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Ally

    To all of you Christians that are quoting Bible Verses on why gay marriage shouldn't have been legalized in new york, please realize there is a separation of church and state, and thus our laws can't be made according to your Bible.

    The days of the special right of your religion being strongly influence our laws and being able to get my tax money for your organizations and a special exemption that's reserved for churches and ordained clergy are slowly coming to an end.

    June 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. charlotte

    marriage should be between any two consenting adults of more or less the same species who are not married to anyone else at the time.think mutts and beefalo.

    June 27, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
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