Last week I blogged that The Marriage Equality Act was passed by the New York State Assembly and was headed directly to the State Senate. Well, unless you spent a long-weekend away from any kind of news or social media (which we all should do from time to time), you know that late on Friday night, the State Senate did in fact approve same-sex marriage, giving the national gay-rights movement one of its largest victories to date! The bill passed in a historic 33 to 29 vote and will take effect in 30 days. Last week’s victory was the result of decades of work by gay rights activists and politicians. New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat who had pledged to support same-sex marriage, also played a key role in this victory by making same-sex marriage one of his top priorities. Cuomo had his top aides coordinate the efforts of a half-dozen local gay-rights organizations that were working tireless for this victory.
With last week’s victory, New York now becomes the largest state where LGBT couples are able to legally wed. Currently, only five other states currently permit same-sex marriage: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia.
Let us hope that what happened here in New York serves as a turning point for other states around the country. The momentum is here, but it cannot be wasted. If you want to learn more about what you can do to ensure that what happened last week in New York will be replicated across the country, please check out the recent campaign from Freedom To Marry. You can add your voice to those supporting the freedom to marry and pledge to work to enable same-sex couples and their families to share equally in the responsibilities, protections, and commitment of marriage.
You can also watch this video to learn more the strategy for legalizing same-sex marriage in other states and ending federal marriage discrimination.