New York Senate passes Marriage Equality Act, Andrew Cuomo signs it shortly after

same sex marriage senate vote composite

A few scenes from the state Capitol Friday night.

The state Senate passed the Marriage Equality Act 33-29 Friday night.

Earlier in the evening, the Assembly passed amendments to the bill that included increased protections for religious organizations that choose not to participate in same-sex marriages.

Andrew Cuomo signed the bill shortly before midnight on Friday. It takes effect 30 days after his signature.

Recaps, quotes and pics from the vote after the jump...

same-sex marriage senate vote salandSenator Stephen Saland -- a Republican from Poughkeepsie (that's him on the right) who was a big part of the effort to write the amendment that extends protections allowing religious orgs to opt out of participating in same-sex marriage -- was the 32nd and deciding vote.

Saland conceded his decision would "disappoint a significant number of people." He explained his vote during statements ahead of the amendment vote:

"I have to define doing the right thing as treating all persons with equality and that equality includes within the definition of marriage. And to do otherwise would fly in the face of my upbringing."
"I feel if my parents were here they would have told me I have done the right thing."

The statements ahead of the vote on the actual bill were at times touching -- and cranky.

Said Ruben Diaz, the most vocal opponent of same-sex marriage in the Senate: "God settled the issue of marriage a long time ago." He then ran over his time and refused to stop when Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy asked him to stop.

Tom Duane, Democrat from Manhattan who's openly gay, then talked about the struggles he's faced and the progress that's been made, and the significance to him of legalizing same-sex marriage: "Marriage says that we are a family. [My partner] Louis and I are a family. Marriage strengthens all families."

Mark Grisanti, a Republican from near Buffalo, represented the 33rd vote in favor of the bill. He explained that he struggled with the idea of same-sex marriage because of his Catholic upbringing, but ultimately, "I cannot legally come up with an argument against same-sex marriage. ... I cannot deny that right for someone or stand in the way of obtaining the rights that I have."

The votes by Senators from the greater Capital Region:

Yes: Neil Breslin, Roy McDonald
No: Hugh Farley, Betty Little

The crowd outside the chamber erupted when the finally tally was announced. At one point there were more than 40,000 people watching the vote on the Senate live online feed.

same-sex marriage senate vote cuomo after

Next up: a signature from Andrew Cuomo. Said the governor in a statement: "With the world watching, the Legislature, by a bipartisan vote, has said that all New Yorkers are equal under the law. With this vote, marriage equality will become a reality in our state, delivering long overdue fairness and legal security to thousands of New Yorkers."

He said later in a press conference: "This state, at its finest, is a beacon for social justice." And: "Tonight I am especially proud to be a New Yorker." He also gave a shoutout to Roy McDonald, calling him and others "people of courage and principle."

Cuomo signed the bill at 11:55 pm Friday. The law takes effect 30 days after his signature.

New York will become the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage.

A few scenes from the Capitol

supporter with sign God loves love

same-sex marriage senate vote anticipationSame-sex marriage supporters waiting on word from the Senate chamber.

same-sex marriage senate vote antiOpponents of same-sex marriage praying before the vote.

waiting for a thumbs up from the chamberWaiting for a thumbs up from the chamber.

Senate gallery right after the voteSenate gallery right after the vote.

Senate gallery post same-sex marriage vote

Libby Post right after the voteLibby Post right after the vote.

Celebration in the Capitol

Post marriage equality vote-- outside chamber.jpgSupporters celebrating after the bill passed.

same-sex marriage senate vote pro

same-sex marriage senate vote couple cnn"We've waited so long..."


Saland screen capture from NYS Senate Livestream
Cuomo screen capture from NYS Governor Livestream

Comments

Congratulations, New York! Woooohoooooo!

And with that Cuomo absorbs another block of blind voters. Bring on the hydrofracking. It's all corporate interests from here on out!

This is offensive and sad. No matter what the New York legislature thinks, marriage has always be between one man and one woman. It will always be this way. Two men or two women being called "married" is a perversion of the most important institution the world has know. I will take solace in the knowledge that 31 of these 50 United States have constitutions that prevent this sort of tragedy from taking place... I pray we can amend our state constitution or revoke this law with a referendum.

Go New York! Hopefully we'll get this through the federal government so those remaining 31 states that are DISCRIMINATING against its citizens won't be able to.

Marriage is a legal contract between two consenting individuals and always will be.

"marriage has always be between one man and one woman".
Especially, you know, if that man or woman is your first cousin.
Go NY.

Like AOA, I too was on twitter live last night watching this vote unfold. Here's what I observed: an brazen, outlandish disgust towards Diaz and is oppositional speech. Even at the end of this road, supporters are just as bigoted when it comes to expression of free speech that they don't share.

http://twitter.com/#!/search/diaz%20ssm

That's progress.

Gay marriage (check). Up next, legalize pot.

I applaud our state government for this momentous achievement- this is one less instance of our government telling us what we CAN'T do !

signing this bill was the right thing to do. how is it that anyone can play God and say it's wrong? you are not God, so don't try to be God. also, mot passing this would not only have been a violation of the constitution, but remeber the whole issue of seperstion of church and state? people getting married certainly isn't unlawful, and the only other opposition to it is through people's religious beliefs. so, this bill had a right to be passed, and passing it represents what america is truly about: freedom.

It's about time!!!! This is fantastic!

I'm still surprised that there's so much confusion on the distinction between civil marriage and religious marriage. They're two completely separate institutions, one being a legal partnership defining one's rights with relation to another and the other being a religious ceremony. This bill took so long to pass simply because the Senate wanted to ensure that that distinction was made clear in the bill, and that no religious group would be forced to go against their beliefs so that this full legal partnership could be recognized. New York State did not redefine whatever one's deity of choice defines a marriage to be, they only extended the civil right of marriage to all couples, irrespective of orientation.

I made the drive up from New Jersey for this last night, and I'm really glad I did. I'm proud that Albany came together to ensure that all New Yorkers are that much closer to being completely equal under the law.

@PreserveMarriage:

The family has been around for substantially longer than the institution of marriage. Regardless of your personal religious beliefs, there really is no legal argument against same-sex marriage. From the liberal side, it's a basic human and discrimination issue akin to legislation banning blacks and whites from marrying 60 years ago. From the conservative side (I mean true small-government conservativism, not this morality-legislating nonsense the right has become in recent decades), it's the government intervening in a private contract between two consenting adults. If you're against gay marriage, don't get one. It's as simple as that.

I ask all NY Gays to help us straight people and decrease the 50%+ divorce rate and save the sanctity of marriage!

Thank you!

I was watching it unfold on TV and it was beautiful. I felt truly moved and got a bit weepy when it passed.

@Jeff S.: I was also angry at Diaz, but not because he was opposed to same-sex marriage... in my case it was because he was making very little sense and when Duffy tried to get him to wrap it up, he wasted another few minutes simply arguing with him and babbling about a bunch of nonsense. Or at least it sounded like nonsense. It was very frustrating to watch.

@S- yes! I think that's hilarious about the cousin thing. I was telling a friend that maybe there's no law in NY banning first cousins from marrying because we never needed one, because it was never a problem here. That's what I'm choosing to believe in my mind.

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