For many, it was a great day in New York on Friday as Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that gave gay and lesbian couples the right to marry in New York. The Republican-controlled Senate passed the measure on Friday night first, and then Cuomo followed suit signing it into law.
Cuomo explained that the law would allow same-sex couples equal rights to marry and that it would also allow them
“hundreds of rights, benefits and protections that are currently limited to married couples of the opposite sex.”
These rights will not include Social Security benefits through spouses, since those are a federal benefit.
The law passed by a narrow majority in the Senate, with 33 for it and 29 against, making New York the sixth state in the union that has now legalized same-sex marriage.
But don’t think that those who are opposed will now sit back quietly. The state’s Catholic bishops, in a joint statement they released late Friday, wrote, “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.”
Other opponents of the marriage equality law have threatened that their political action will come when they vote against those who voted for the bill.
The vote, which came after days of delays and last-minute negotiations, included four key Republican senators who tipped the scale in favor of the bill’s passage. Governor Cuomo credited those senators by saying they were “people of courage.”
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the vote a “historic triumph for equality and freedom.”
Mayor Bloomberg Statement
Shortly after the vote, Major Bloomberg released a statement in which he said, “In recent weeks, I have had many conversations with our state senators. I emphasized that not only is marriage equality consistent with bedrock American principles, but it is also consistent with bedrock Republican Party principles of liberty and freedom — and the Republicans who stood up today for those principles will long be remembered for their courage, foresight, and wisdom. In fact, 10 or 20 or 30 years from now, I believe they will look back at this vote as one of their finest, proudest moments.”
Here is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo discussing the recent passage of the gay marriage bill.