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.


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

    I wish we'd stop making so many special concessions to churches. They are exempt from taxes and anti-discrimination laws. And really, there's no good reason for it (that a secular mind would accept).

    June 24, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • george

      Yes you are absolutely right Bacon, Churches should start paying taxes if the want to have the right to object this, hypocrites that protect all those child molesters priests and these preachers and hypocrite religious people that go around spreading and spiting hate and division

      June 24, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • russ

      Even reasonable secular people would understand that if gay marriage is against their moral or doctrinal teachings that they are under no obligation to accept, recognize, or perform such marriages. Remember the First Amendment does say that people have the right to the free exercise of religion and that includes not agreeing or accepting gay marriage.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. *Lee

    This is a done deal NY is # 6 may the other 44 soon follow in the steps of MA, VT, NH, IA, CT, & NY in end hate and deacrimination aginst gay/lesbain Americans.

    June 24, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Alfredo Fla.

    Way to go. I think if I have to be subjected to seeing my wife day in and day out listening to her scream at me for any little thing I do.... why shouldn't everyone be subjected to such spousal annoyance. Besides... it is the right thing!!

    June 24, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. downinfront


    June 24, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Allen

    Just passed. Good job NY!

    June 24, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. reality

    It passed! 33-29!!!!

    June 24, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. reality

    now where's cuomo??? have him sign it tonight

    June 24, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mary

    June 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brandon

    I ❤ NY.

    June 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. gvg

    It passed =)

    June 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. rm

    WOO HOO!!! Well done NY Senators! Congratulations to all!!!

    June 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    Make it happen! One less state living in the cruel, banal past.

    June 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kalie

    Yay!!! Equal rights!!

    June 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Epicurus

    Bill passed, 33-29. Congratulations.

    June 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. New Yorker

    I've been watching this crossing my fingers. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    June 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
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