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New York Senate Passes Marriage Equality

Jim Burroway

June 24th, 2011

In a 33-29 vote, the New York Senate this evening passed the Marriage Equality Bill. Four Republican state senators joined 29 Democrats in voting for the measure. The bill, which had gained several amendments aimed at insulating religious institutions from the effects of the bill, passed the lower house earlier by a vote of 82-47 earlier today.

Those exemptions were very minor — they are already a matter of constitutional law under the U.S. First Amendment and the New York constitution’s religious freedom clause, but having them spelled out in the bill itself gave a few Senators the needed cover so they could vote for the measure. LGBT advocacy groups supported the exemptions.

The bill now goes on to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature, and will take effect thirty days after it is signed into law. With his signature, New York will become the seventh state to grant marriage equality to its citizens.

New York City’s pride celebration is this weekend. LGBT New Yorkers definitely has a lot to be proud of today.

UPDATE: Gov. Cuomo signed the bill shortly before midnight, bypassing the normal ten day wait and fulfilling a pledge to sign it as soon as it reached his desk. Marriage equality will arrive in New York on July 24.

Comments

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TampaZeke
June 24th, 2011 | LINK

Kruger getting the last word and trying to reframe himself as a gay rights hero just made my flesh crawl.

He still has to go!

Tara TASW
June 24th, 2011 | LINK

If we can pass it there,
We’ll pass it everywhere,
Equality, New York, New York!

Bernie
June 25th, 2011 | LINK

Jim, Timothy, et al,

Thank you so much for all the work that helped to get this passed.

I wish I was back in New York to join the festivities.

Candace
June 25th, 2011 | LINK

Congratulations New York, from Miami! What a way to celebrate Pride!

Stefan
June 25th, 2011 | LINK

I don’t know what’s better; that it was during Pride month or that it was passed by a Republican controlled Senate!!!

Priya Lynn
June 25th, 2011 | LINK

Tara said “If we can pass it there,
We’ll pass it everywhere,
Equality, New York, New York!”.

Think so? How about Tenessee or Texas?

ZRAinSWVA
June 25th, 2011 | LINK

Tara said “If we can pass it there,
We’ll pass it everywhere”

Not for a long, long time, I’m afraid, in my home state of Virginia.

Rather, I’m banking on the SCOTUS finding DOMA unconstitutional and also that imposition of restrictions on the individual right to marry at the state level to be unconstitutional. I mean really, if the contract of marriage (or civil union, for those who feel the word ‘marriage’ is a stumbling block) isn’t portable state-to-state, we still face discrimination across the broad majority of the states.

All that being said: congratulations to New York!

Tara TASW
June 25th, 2011 | LINK

I was channeling Sinatra.

Tennessee and Texas will take longer, but we’ll get there. Even in those states, the younger generation is on the side of equality.

Start spreadin’ the news…

Erin
June 25th, 2011 | LINK

I usually lurk and I love this blog! As a recently engaged lesbian in Tennessee, yes change is coming slowly, steadily with youth, and certainly not through our elected legislature. Sharing with people my engagement has been one of the most surprising and encouraging things to happen for me. Marriage plans so far for Boston (now maybe niagra falls?), reception in Memphis. With each city and each state that passes this it gives me hope. Thank you for your coverage and commentary.

customartist
June 25th, 2011 | LINK

Many news outlets today have reported ONLY that the Religious Exemptions in the law are about Churches not being forced to conduct Gay Marriages, but this is not the entire, nor the most important part of the exemptions, and I am concerned that many are being mislead.

Under these exemptions, Churches may still accept Governmentally Funded Contracts to operate services such as Adoptions, but they are allowed to then Refuse Adoption Services to Gays, and herein lies the Unconstitutional problem.

The US Constitution allows for “Equal Protection”, and it also states that there shall be no laws created “respecting Religion”. This is clear. The NY Legislature has a sworn duty to uphold the US Constitution, but they have created yet another Unconstitutional law just like DOMA.

While the law does give Gay couples the right to marry, it also reinforces the practice of inequality, favoring particular religious beliefs.

This is not being reported upon in an accurate manner among other News Outlets.

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