I’m overjoyed this historic Saturday morning; sad only not to be in NYC for Pride weekend. Some other reaction…
Steve Benen, the arc of history bends towards justice in N.Y.:
The political twists of this process were rather unusual. When Democrats ran the state Senate in the last session, infighting doomed a similar proposal. Now, there’s a Republican majority in the same chamber, and it passed. Indeed, the real oddity of last night’s debate was watching the two highest-profile speakers: Sen. Mark Grisanti, a Buffalo Republican who opposed marriage equality, spoke about why he changed his mind and would help pass the measure. Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., a Democrat from the Bronx, played the role of Robert Byrd stonewalling the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and condemned the effort.
President Obama threads the needle in a statement released to the Huffington Post (?):
“The President has long believed that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and legal protections as straight couples. That’s why he has called for repeal of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” and determined that his Administration would no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA in the courts. The states should determine for themselves how best to uphold the rights of their own citizens. The process in New York worked just as it should.”
There is the sense that this legislative victory marks a tipping point in the larger civil rights fight for marriage equality across the nation…In May, the Gallup Poll found that for the first time a majority of Americans supported legalizing gay marriage, aided by a boost from independent voters, whose support increased from 49 percent to 59 percent in the last year alone. The high-profile court case to overturn California’s Prop 8, led by the bipartisan legal team of Ted Olson and David Boies helped depolarize the issue politically, along with the endorsements of former First Lady Laura Bush and Cindy McCain. In New York, the Siena Poll showed that 59 percent of union households and 59 percent of Catholics in New York supported marriage equality—crucial voting blocks. To some extent, the politicians were following the people.
The passage of the bill coincided with the annual Gay Pride weekend, which draws thousands of people from around the country and will culminate on Sunday with a parade down Fifth Avenue in Lower Manhattan. A drag parade on Friday from Tompkins Square Park in the East Village to Stonewall in the West Village also went on as planned — the ranks of the marchers augmented by people who gathered to be part of history.
Forty-two years after the riot that marks the start of it all, the moment marriage equality became a reality at The Stonewall: