Sunday, June 26, 2011
As I previously blogged, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage on Friday. The marriage bill was approved 33 to 29, and same-sex couples in New York can start legally marrying by late July (the law goes into effect in thirty days). New York joins Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, along with the District of Columbia, as the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage. New York is now the largest state that grants legal recognition of same-sex marriages.
Though the Republican party successfully negotiated changes to the bill to protect religious institutions, New York’s Catholic bishops stated, “The passage by the Legislature of a bill to alter radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage leaves us deeply disappointed and troubled.”
All but one Democrat, Rubén Díaz Sr. of the Bronx, approved the marriage bill. Four Republicans supported the bill: Senators Stephen M. Saland of the Hudson Valley area, Roy J. McDonald of the capital region, Mark J. Grisanti of Buffalo, and James S. Alesi of East Rochester. After Cuomo signed the bill, Gristanti stated, “I apologize for those who feel offended… 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.”
Supporters of same-sex marriage feel the passage of the bill in New York is particularly symbolic as the June 1969 riot against police in the West Village is known as the foundational moment for the gay rights movement.
Nicholas Confessore and Michael Barbaron, New York Allows Same-Sex Marriage, Becoming Largest State to Pass Law, The New York Times, Jun. 24, 2011; Michael Barbaro, Behind N.Y. Gay Marriage, an Unlikely Mix of Forces, The New York Times, Jun. 25, 2011.