New York passes same-sex marriage law
CNN Breaking News on the passage of the Same-Sex Bill
(SPOT.ph) Last night, June 24, 2011, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law his bill legalizing gay marriage, a campaign promise he made last year, reports the Associated Press. Pending any court challenges, legal gay marriages can begin in New York within 30 days.
"This state is at its finest when it is a beacon of social justice," said Cuomo. According to Empire State Pride Agenda executive director Ross Levi, New York’s move will cause a ripple effect across the nation. He added, "It’s truly a historic night for love, our families, and democracy won." According to the Associated Press, the victory for gay rights advocates is expected to help the movement regain momentum after similar bills were rejected in New Jersey, Maryland, and Rhode Island.
Senators who voted for the bill felt that the time was ripe to promote equal rights. "While I understand that my vote will disappoint many, I also know my vote is a vote of conscience. I am doing the right thing in voting to support marriage equality," said Sen. Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie City. Saland voted against gay marriage when the measure was last raised in 2009. Buffalo Republican senator, Mark Grisanti agreed, saying, "I believe this state needs to provide equal rights and protections for all its residents."
The Church, however, is wary about the passing of the bill, fearing it might alter the historic understanding of marriage. "We always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity, and love," stated the Catholic Bishops of New York. "We worry that both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization." Likewise, Rev. Jason McGuire of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms said that legislators should not decide society-shaping issues and that his organization will work to defeat lawmakers who voted for the measure.
New York is the sixth American state where gay couples can wed but only the third (after Vermont and New Hampshire) to legalize the measure through a legislative act.
For more on this story, log on to the Associated Press.