New York Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill With Bipartisan Support

Albany, New York-(ENEWSPF)- The New York State Senate has passed marriage equality legislation with a bipartisan vote of 33-29, the Human Rights Campaign and Illinois State Rep. Greg Harris report on their Facebook accounts.

From the HRC:

History in the making! The New York state senate has just successfully passed the Marriage Equality bill with bipartisan support!

From Rep. Harris:

NEW YORK SENATE PASSES MARRIAGE BILL…..WE LOVE NY!

Harris is an openly-gay representative from Chicago who was chief sponsor of the Illinois civil union legislation that went into effect June 1.

The New York bill gives full marriage equality to gay and lesbian couples. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) had already expressed his support for the legislation and lobbied heavily for it, as did the Republican Mayor of New York City, Michael R. Bloomberg.

New York becomes the largest state in the country to guarantee extend the right to marry to same-sex couples.

More from the New York Times:

Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed, and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born.

The same-sex marriage bill was approved on a 33-to-29 vote, as 4 Republican state senators joined 29 Democrats in voting for the bill. The Senate galleries were so packed with supporters and opponents that the fire marshals closed them off. And along the Great Western Staircase, outside the Senate chamber, about 100 demonstrators chanted and waved placards throughout the night — separated by a generation, a phalanx of state troopers and 10 feet of red marble.

“Support traditional marriage,” read signs held by opponents. “Love is love, Vote Yes,” declared those in the hands of the far more youthful group of people who supported it.

Senate approval was the final hurdle for the same-sex marriage legislation, which is strongly supported by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and was approved last week by the Assembly. Mr. Cuomo is expected to sign the measure soon, and the law will go into effect 30 days later, meaning that same-sex couples could begin marrying in New York by midsummer.