Thursday, June 16, 2011

Marriage Equality Bill Passes NY State Assembly

Seal of New York.Image via WikipediaNew York's Marriage Equality bill, championed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, has passed the New York State assembly and now heads to the state senate, where it could be voted on within the next four days.

The Advocate reports:
Lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled chamber passed the bill by a bipartisan vote of 80 to 63 after four hours of impassioned but largely civil debate. In wide-ranging remarks, with a heavy emphasis on religion, speakers discussed the historical evolution of marriage and offered personal stories to support their arguments for and against the legislation carried by their openly gay colleague from Manhattan, Daniel O’Donnell, with a record 68 sponsors.
"This is an immense step toward achieving true equality for all here in New York,” said O’Donnell in a statement after the vote. “I am very proud that under Speaker Silver’s strong leadership and with his unwavering support, we in the Assembly have powerfully voiced our deep-seated belief in equality and rejected legalized discrimination yet again. Since we first passed marriage equality four years ago, the need for this law has only grown, with same-sex couples in New York facing daily discrimination from our state. This must end.”
The Republicans lead the senate 32-30, which has been in closed-door deliberations about whether to take up the bill before the current session ends on June 20th. As of Wednesday, they had not reached a decision.  Only one Democrat opposes the bill, while two Republicans have crossed over to voice their support. One more vote from the GOP is needed to pass the bill.

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