NY State Assembly Passes Gay Marriage Bill
The State Assembly approved legislation on Tuesday night that would make New York the sixth state to allow same-sex marriage — a pivotal vote that shifts the debate to the State Senate, where gay rights advocates and conservative groups alike are redoubling their efforts.
In a sign of how opinion in Albany has shifted on the issue, several members of the Assembly who voted against the measure in 2007 voted in favor of it on Tuesday.
The final vote was 89 to 52, including the backing of five Republicans.
“This is a matter of equity and justice. New Yorkers should have the right to marry who they chose. Partners unable to enter into a civil marriage, and their children, lack basic legal protections taken for granted by married couples,” said Silver (D-Manhattan).
“The Assembly cast another vote today for equality, and sent a strong message that our state must no longer exclude citizens from basic rights and protections. Our constitution and our consciences demand action,” said O’Donnell (D-Manhattan). “It is impossible to ignore the pleas of parents who want their children to be treated equally under the law and individuals who want nothing more than to protect their partners and families.”
“Different religions have different ideas about what constitutes a marriage, and each of us may have our own personal beliefs on what marriage means. These can be strongly-held convictions, and I respect them. But many of us do not believe that it is government’s place to define marriage in a way that excludes many couples from the legal benefits associated with marriage, and I hope New York will soon become the latest state to adopt a law whose time has come.”