Update: Governor Cuomo has already signed the marriage equality bill!  The law goes into effect in 30 days.

History was made in Albany, New York late Friday as the Republican-controlled New York state Senate passed the Marriage Equality Act with a bipartisan 33-29 vote.  The Assembly already passed the bill several weeks ago with a 80-63 vote, then again early Friday evening passed an amendment required for Senate approval with a 82-48 vote.  The bill now goes to Governor Cuomo’s desk for his signature.

With passage of the marriage equality bill, the number of Americans living in a state that has ended marriage discrimination has doubled, according to Freedom to Marry.

The new law will will go into effect 30 days after the Governor’s signature.  Gov. Cuomo has reportedly been a driving force in getting this legislation passed, along with New Yorkers United for Marriage, a coalition of the LGBT rights groups Empire State Pride Agenda, the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and Marriage Equality New York.

Huge banner in front of Stonewall Inn, which reads “New York Loves Gay Marriage”. Photo credit: Clarknt67.

Reactions below the fold.

NOTE FROM PAM: I’m in Tampa, FL for the National Organization for Women conference, and conventioneers were celebrating off-the-hook in tiaras singing “New York, New York” after the news about the vote.  I was in the suite of NOW Action Vice President Erin Matson Tweeting the action:

And thanks to barista Scott, who has a  celebratory post about the NY marriage win, featuring me (and Kate); but the telling item in the diary is this parody graphic of NOM’s Maggie Gallagher:

Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal issue joint statement on marriage equality in New York and the next step in New Jersey:

Joint statement from Hayley Gorenberg, Deputy Legal Director of Lambda Legal and Steven Goldstein, Chair and CEO of Garden State Equality:

“Today’s victory for marriage equality in New York is another great milestone in the fight for equality for LGBT people.  We are thrilled for same-sex couples in New York and we congratulate the New Yorkers United for Marriage coalition for a magnificent campaign.

“We are proud that New York bypassed the lesser option of civil unions, which, as New Jersey knows painfully well, enshrine second-class citizenship for same-sex couples and have failed to provide equality.

“We have more work to do. We believe the victory in New York, and its choice of marriage equality over civil union inequality, set the stage for our continuing fight for marriage for same-sex couples in New York’s sister state just a mile away.

“Soon there will be a major announcement in that regard.”

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Garden State Equality is New Jersey’s largest civil rights organization, winning 212 LGBT civil rights laws at the state, county and local levels – a national record.  The laws include America’s strongest and most inclusive laws to combat discrimination, hate crimes and school bullying, as well as America’s strongest transgender equality law.

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

Human Rights Campaign:

History in the Making: New York To Become Seventh U.S. Jurisdiction Allowing Gay and Lesbian Couples to Marry

Governor Cuomo’s leadership and unprecedented field campaign push bill over finish line

WASHINGTON – In a history making, bipartisan vote, the New York Senate today passed a widely popular marriage equality bill after the most aggressive state legislative campaign in the history of the LGBT rights movement.  With Governor Cuomo’s promised signature of the bill, New York will become the sixth state, plus the District of Columbia, where same-sex couples can legally marry.

“History was made today in New York. This victory sends a message that marriage equality across the country will be a reality very soon,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

“Governor Cuomo has shown New York and the nation what leadership looks like,” added Brian Ellner, HRC’s senior strategist in the state. “The bipartisan nature of the vote is compelling proof that marriage equality is increasingly an issue that unites, not divides. Legislators listened to their constituents and did the right thing.”

The successful vote in the Senate comes after a strategic, coordinated and aggressive legislative advocacy effort by LGBT civil rights organizations. Working in close coordination with a tight-knit coalition, HRC’s National Field Director, Marty Rouse, led one of the largest legislative advocacy efforts in New York state history and the largest field campaign ever in support of state gay rights legislation.  An unprecedented 30 full-time field organizers were employed by HRC across the state and generated over 150,000 constituent contacts to targeted legislators. To reflect the deep and diverse support for marriage equality, HRC also created “New Yorkers for Marriage Equality,” a video campaign that eventually featured more than 40 iconic New Yorkers ranging from President Bush’s daughter Barbara Bush to Russell Simmons advocating for marriage equality (www.hrc.org/NY4marriage).  HRC spent more than $1 million overall on the effort to pass marriage in New York.

“There’s no doubt that this was the most unified marriage effort ever,” said Solmonese. “Today’s victory is made even sweeter by the fact that organizations were able to rally around a common goal, work hard and deliver a huge win for civil and human rights.”

HRC was a founding member of New Yorkers United for Marriage. Coalition partners include HRC, Empire State Pride Agenda, Freedom to Marry, Marriage Equality New York, and Log Cabin Republicans. The coalition raised $2 million that it used to advocate for marriage equality.

In the past year, a number of national polls (Washington Post/ABC News, Gallup, and CNN) have shown, for the first time that a majority of the country supports marriage equality. Support for same-sex marriage has increased by 19 percentage points since 1996, according to the Pew Research Center.

For maps of marriage and relationship recognition laws in the states, please visit: www.HRC.org/State_Laws.

The Human Rights Campaign is America¹s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

New Yorkers United for Marriage:

Statement from New Yorkers United for Marriage On Passage of Historic Marriage Equality Bill

“Just now, the New York State Senate made history by voting to make marriage equality the law of the Empire State.  Heeding the call of a majority of New Yorkers and the voices of a broad coalition of LGBT advocates, business, religious and labor leaders, tonight a bipartisan group of State Senators voted to allow all New Yorkers the freedom to marry the person they love.   Thanks to the passionate leadership of Governor Cuomo, long-standing support from Assembly Speaker Silver, Assemblymember O’Donnell and his Assembly colleagues, thoughtful leadership from Majority Leader Skelos, strong support from Democratic Leader Sampson, Senator Duane and the vast majority of the Democratic conference, as well as the courageous votes of Republican Senators Alesi, Grisanti, McDonald, and Saland, New York will once again be a leader in the struggle for equality.  Tonight’s victory is sweet and long in coming — not only for gay and lesbian New Yorkers and their friends and families — but for all New Yorkers who believe in fairness and justice.”

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New Yorkers United for Marriage is a coalition of leading New York LGBT rights organizations fighting so that all couples in New York State have the freedom to marry the person they love.

The Empire State Pride Agenda is the statewide civil rights and advocacy group committed to achieving full equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) New Yorkers and our families. For twenty years we have been educating policymakers, elected officials and the public, building coalitions and mobilizing allies, lobbying government officials, administering a Political Action Committee, and organizing and empowering the LGBT community.

Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Marriage Equality New York (MENY) is a grassroots, volunteer based, single-issue organization dedicated to securing the right for all New Yorkers to enter into legally recognized civil marriages. With local chapters throughout New York State, MENY is leading the fight for equality, helping educate local and state politicians and candidates to support equal marriage rights legislation.

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation’s only organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Log Cabin has state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time office in Washington, D.C., a federal political action committee and state political action committees.

GLAAD:

GLAAD APPLAUDS NY STATE SENATE VOTE IN SUPPORT OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY

New York, NY, June 24, 2011 – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today applauded a vote by the New York state Senate that will allow loving gay and lesbian couples to marry in the Empire State. The bill, which was approved by the state Assembly last Wednesday, will now be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has led a high-profile campaign in support of marriage equality in New York.

GLAAD has New York couples, faith leaders and marriage equality advocates ready to speak to the media about the decision. Additional resources for media are available here: http://www.glaad.org/releases/06222011eyeonthemedia.

“At the heart of this vote are loving and committed New Yorkers who simply want the same thing all Americans want:  the ability to take care of the people they love and to protect their families,” said GLAAD’s Senior Director of Programs Herndon Graddick. “Gay and lesbian New Yorkers are now one step closer to the vital legal protections that marriage affords and which all couples need.

“GLAAD applauds the work of our partners at the Empire State Pride Agenda, Marriage Equality New York, Freedom to Marry, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Log Cabin Republicans and the couples whose personal stories have moved lawmakers to support this historic legislation,” Graddick continued.  “GLAAD encourages media reporting on this story to ground their coverage in the stories of the New York couples whose love and commitment is at the heart of today’s decision.”

GLAAD has helped several gay and lesbian couples from across the Empire State share their stories in local and national media in an effort to build support for marriage equality. In collaboration with the New Yorkers United for Marriage coalition, GLAAD has also held trainings for couples and allies that help advocates speak out more effectively on the local and national level.

About GLAAD: The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. For more information, visit www.glaad.org.

Massachusetts Democratic Party:

MA Dems Congratulate New York on Marriage Equality Vote

Boston – Massachusetts Democratic Party chair John Walsh released the following statement today after the New York Senate followed the state Assembly in voting to recognize marriage equality:

“I would like to congratulate our neighbors in New York who tonight joined Massachusetts and a handful of other states in recognizing marriage equality. Governor Cuomo brought Democrats and Republicans together in Albany to move our nation one step closer to becoming a more perfect union with liberty and justice for all.

“The fight for equality is never easy, but it is always worthwhile. After seven years of marriage equality in Massachusetts, I’m still proud to wake up every morning in a state that has boldly reaffirmed the belief of our nation’s founders that all of us are created equal. It is a satisfaction that our friends in New York, and hopefully more states to come, will now share.

Freedom to Marry:

New York Freedom to Marry Win Builds National Momentum

Number of Americans Living in States with the Freedom to Marry More Than Doubles

Press Contact:

Jackie Yodashkin

Communications Director, Freedom to Marry

jackie@freedomtomarry.org

917-620-4502

(New York, NY, June 24 2011) – In a resounding win for the freedom to marry movement, the New York legislature today sent a marriage bill to Governor Cuomo’s desk that, when  signed, will more than double the number of Americans living in a state with the freedom to marry for all committed, loving couples.

“Winning the freedom to marry in New York truly is a transformative moment for committed couples and for our country, a triumph for love and equality under the law,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry.  “Now that we’ve made it here, we’ll make it everywhere — and as Americans’ hearts open and minds continue to change in favor of the freedom to marry, the momentum coming from New York’s giant step forward brings a nationwide end to marriage discrimination closer than ever.”

The New York victory represents a number of historic firsts:

* For the first time, a Republican-led chamber, the New York State Senate, joined the Democrat-led Assembly in passing marriage legislation;

* the marriage bill was strongly championed by a governor who ran for office on his pledge to pass a bill and then campaigned steadily for it, making it one of his top priorities and committing political capital to its passage;

* a large number of America’s most prominent businesses including Xerox Corporation, Alcoa, and McGraw-Hill, and the heads of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup, along with corporate leaders and labor unions, including very strong leadership by SEIU 1199, urged passage of the bill;

* and numerous professional athletes, including NBA star Steve Nash, New York Rangers star Sean Avery, and New York Giants great Michael Strahan, joined the chairman of the New York Giants and owner of the New Jersey Nets in speaking out for the bill.

“This unprecedented support from Republicans, corporations, and even pro athletes demonstrates how mainstream ending the exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from marriage has become,” said Wolfson.  “The surge in new support and this epic win in New York add to the momentum for the work ahead: ending the cruel exclusion from marriage in other states, and overturning the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which denies married gay and lesbian couples — even in New York and other states that issue marriage licenses without discrimination – the safety-net of protections and responsibilities marriage brings at the federal level.”

The New York freedom to marry bill passed Assembly in a 80-63 vote and then the Republican-led Senate by 33-29.  With this win, the number of Americans living in states with the freedom to marry more than doubles, from 16 million to 35 million.

Freedom to Marry helped shape every front of the campaign to win marriage in New York.  As a founding member of the New Yorkers United for Marriage coalition, Freedom to Marry played a key leadership role in guiding and investing in the coalition’s work to win.  Freedom to Marry invested over $1,000,000 in the campaign, including more than $500,000 for television, newspaper ads, and direct mail, and over $100,000 in polling, all aimed at making sure legislators heard from the couples affected, their loved ones, and the 58% of New Yorkers who support the freedom to marry.

“With the freedom to marry in New York, the nationwide majority for marriage will swell, as even more people get to see why marriage matters to same-sex couples, that gay couples, like non-gay, treasure the chance to affirm and strengthen their commitment, and that ending marriage discrimination helps families and hurts no one,” said Wolfson.  “We are especially grateful for Governor Cuomo’s strategic and passionate leadership in advancing this bill.  He worked tirelessly with Freedom to Marry and other advocates to secure the votes we needed to win.  No governor has ever worked harder or more strategically to advance marriage legislation.”

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Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.

National Stonewall Democrats:

National Stonewall Democrats Statement on the Passage of Marriage Equality in New York

“New York has finally done the right thing by rising above partisan bickering to give same-sex couples in the Empire State civil marriage rights,” said NSD Executive Director Michael Mitchell. “I’m exceptionally proud of our affiliated clubs in New York for all their efforts to help get this measure to Gov. Cuomo’s desk, in addition to the years of ceaseless work to elect and educate Democrats statewide about the importance of marriage equality. Those Democrats created the measure, fought long and hard for it and provided the lion’s share of the votes for passage.”

“I could not be happier or more overjoyed that New York has passed the Marriage Equality Act,” said Bryan Ball, President of Stonewall Democrats of Western New York. “I commend our local legislators here in the Buffalo area – Sen. Timothy Kennedy and Assemblymember Sam Hoyt – and Gov. Cuomo for their tireless to advance equality, and also thank those in the Republican Party who stood with Democrats and all New Yorkers for equality.

“I look forward to the day when our Federal government repeals DOMA.”

“It is evident that the many voices of LGBT New Yorkers and our straight allies have been heard,” said Joseph Hagelmann, President of the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City. “Through innumerable post cards, letters, phone calls, usage of social networking, lobbying visits, and public rallies, we’ve strongly reminded our legislators that they have been elected to work for us, and we’ve sent them a very clear message that this is what we demanded from them.”

Jerame Davis

Affiliate Services Director

National Stonewall Democrats

jdavis@stonewalldemocrats.org

317-213-4148

Family Equality Council:

MARRIAGE EQUALITY = FAMILY EQUALITY

LGBT PARENTS AND CHILDREN CELEBRATE HISTORIC NEW YORK VOTE!!!

Washington, D.C.  – (June 24, 2011) –  The Family Equality Council, America’s foremost advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) families,  today issued a statement congratulating New Yorkers for achieving marriage equality.

“On behalf of the 1 million LGBT parents raising 2 million children in our country today, I want to thank Governor Cuomo, the Senate and Assembly, and the people of New York,” said Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director of the Family Equality Council.

“New York alone is home to 7,200 of those same-sex couples and 14,000 of their children.  Those children need  the legal security afforded by marriage. They want to know that both their parents can visit them in the hospital if they’re sick; provide for them in a will; pick them up for school; register them for summer camp; apply for their passport or do any of the thousands of other things that parents do to protect and provide for their kids.

Marriage also sends a strong message to children that their parents have publicly demonstrated their love and commitment to one other and that their families are recognized and valued by society. Our children understand the most fundamental meaning of the word marriage- that marriage defines family in a way that no other word can.

Today, we join New Yorkers in celebrating their victory for marriage equality and look forward to the day when all Americans can enjoy the same rights, benefits and protections.”

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hails New York Senate’s passage of marriage equality legislation

New York on cusp of becoming sixth and largest state to allow same-sex couples to marry

“This is a profoundly moving and historic moment for New York. … This vote affirms our common humanity. It means same-sex couples will no longer have to cross state lines to marry. It means New York lives up to its reputation as a national leader. It honors New York’s unique history as being the place where the modern gay rights movement sprang to life…”

– Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

NEW YORK, June 24 – The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hailed the New York Senate’s passage of legislation granting the freedom to marry to same-sex couples in the Empire State. The Assembly has already passed the measure, which now moves to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. With the governor’s signature, New York will become the sixth and most populous state to allow same-sex couples to marry.

According to data released June 15 by the Williams Institute, extending marriage to same-sex couples in New York would impact more than 42,000 couples raising 14,000 children in the state. It would also double the percentage of the U.S. population living in states that allow same-sex couples to marry.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has been working with New Yorkers United for Marriage to secure marriage equality, including assisting with nightly phone banks over the past several weeks.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director,

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“This is a profoundly moving and historic moment for New York. To finally be able to share and celebrate one’s love and commitment both publicly and legally is a lifelong dream for tens of thousands of same-sex couples and their families. This vote affirms our common humanity. It means same-sex couples will no longer have to cross state lines to marry. It means New York lives up to its reputation as a national leader. It honors New York’s unique history as being the place where the modern gay rights movement sprang to life 42 years ago this month at the Stonewall Inn in New York City – a place where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people stood up and fought back for their dignity and rightful place in society. This vote honors the spirit of all those who refused to settle for second-class status.

“We look forward to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature on this bill, which will make New York the sixth and largest state to grant this fundamental freedom to loving, committed same-sex couples. We thank each of the lawmakers who stood up for fairness, and we applaud the governor for his tremendous leadership in making marriage equality a key priority. We are pleased and proud to be a supporter of New Yorkers United for Marriage, which has doggedly organized to secure this victory. All shared a vision for equality, pursued it with clarity and persistence, and won.”

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, visit www.theTaskForce.org and follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce (http://www.twitter.com/thetaskforce).

PFLAG:

PFLAG NATIONAL CELEBRATES NY STATE MARRIAGE EQUALITY VICTORY!

PFLAG National (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) – the nation’s largest grassroots-based family organization for families, friends and allies of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people – has issued the following statement regarding the 33 – 29 vote in favor of marriage equality in New York State.

“We applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State legislature for their historic vote in favor of marriage equality. This step towards equal civil rights – in one of the largest states in our nation – affirms recent polls that most Americans are now in favor of marriage equality for our LGBT loved ones. PFLAG mothers and fathers all over the state of New York will be celebrating with their sons and daughters, who can now legally marry the people they love in their hometowns,” said Jody Huckaby, Executive Director of PFLAG National.

“After years of actively fighting for marriage equality in New York State, I am elated that both of my sons – gay and straight – will now have the same basic civil right to marry the person they love in the state in which they were raised,” said Dale Bernstein, PFLAG National Board Member, PFLAG Mom, and lifelong New York resident.

PFLAG National is committed to securing full civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, by providing support, education and advocacy. Founded in 1973 by mothers and fathers, PFLAG has more than 200,000 members and supporters in more than 350 chapters throughout the United States. To learn more, please visit www.pflag.org.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (New York City):

Statement from Glennda Testone, Executive Director, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

New York Achieves Marriage Equality!

This is an extraordinary night for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) New Yorkers. Marriage for same-sex couples will soon become law, following the passage of the Marriage Equality Act. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center applauds our state legislators in Albany for their historic vote in favor of marriage equality, and stands with all those involved in the New Yorkers United for Marriage coalition; their tireless efforts helped make this a reality. The Center also commends Governor Andrew Cuomo for his steadfast leadership on this issue.

Countless New York same-sex couples come to the Center every day seeking our services, having faced the numerous roadblocks brought on by a lack of marriage protections. Many come looking for LGBT friendly legal or financial referrals. Some come seeking support for their relationships. And even more come to create families with the help of our Center Families program, which has been serving LGBT couples and families for nearly 20 years.

In addition, the Center held several marriage forums in recent months to spotlight this issue and allow a platform for leaders and community members to speak out and advocate for marriage equality. Most recently we hosted a NY Latinos United for Marriage Equality rally and press conference, highlighting significant Latino community support for LGBT marriage protections and garnering significant media attention.

This vote sends a strong message to all New York same-sex couples that their lives and their families matter. It’s vitally important for the state to extend these much needed protections so that loving committed couples can take care of and be responsible for one another and for their families.”

CONGRATULATIONS NEW YORK!

U.S. Senator Gillibrand (D-NY):

GILLIBRAND STATEMENT ON NEW YORK STATE ACHIEVING MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Praises Democrats And Republicans For Coming Together To Uphold American Values Of Equality, Justice

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued the following statement tonight after the New York State Senate voted in favor of marriage equality for all New Yorkers:

“New York has always led the way for equal rights – from leading the suffrage movement, to Abraham Lincoln’s remarkable speech opposing slavery at Cooper Union – and we have done it again. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his extraordinary  leadership and unwavering commitment to marriage equality which brought home this great victory. I also want to thank the committed advocates who worked day in and day out, and all of the New York State lawmakers – Democrats and Republicans – who came together to uphold the fundamental American values of equality and justice for all.

“New York State has sent a powerful message to the rest of the nation. The right to get married and start a family is a basic, human right that must be shared by all Americans. Every loving, committed couple in America deserves this right. And no politician should stand in the way of this fact.

“Marriage under the law is the foundation for strong families. I will continue to help lead the fight in Washington to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act so that all loving and committed marriages in New York are recognized by the federal government.”

True Colors Fund:

CYNDI LAUPER APPLAUDS THE PASSAGE OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN NEW YORK STATE

June 24, 2011 [NEW YORK] – The following is a statement from Cyndi Lauper, founder of the True Colors Fund and longtime advocate for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, about today’s passage of marriage equality in her home state of New York:

I have never be prouder to be a lifelong New Yorker than I am today with the passage of marriage equality. New York joins a growing number of states leading the nation towards the future we have always been destined for, a future where everyone is treated equally, with dignity and respect.

I am inspired by all of my fellow New Yorkers who stood with us and showed their support by contacting their state representatives, attending rallies and encouraging their family and friends to get involved. It is because of great citizens like them that civil rights for all, especially gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, continue to advance in this country.

I am equally inspired by the state assembly members and senators who stood by their convictions and voted “YES”. I am in awe of their decision, along with unwavering leaders like Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, to be on the right side of history.

New York also owes a debt of gratitude to the organizations and community leaders like the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry, the Empire State Pride Agenda and  Broadway Impact for their dedication and commitment to making marriage equality a reality in the Empire State.

ABOUT THE TRUE COLORS FUND

The True Colors Fund was founded by Cyndi Lauper to inspire and engage everyone, particularly the straight community, to become active participants in the advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality and to raise awareness about and bring an end to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth experiencing homelessness. To learn more, please visit: www.truecolorsfund.org

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD):

GLAD Congratulates New York on Achieving Marriage Equality

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the organization whose successful lawsuits brought marriage equality to Massachusetts and Connecticut and laid the groundwork for marriage in Vermont, today offered congratulations to the state of New York, where the legislature decisively — and with bipartisan support — passed a marriage equality bill, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already pledged to sign into law.

“We applaud the elected officials in New York who championed full equality,” said Gary Buseck, acting executive director. “We are ecstatic for our friends and colleagues and the entire community in New York. We salute the heroic work of the organizations and all the dedicated public servants and private individuals who worked so tirelessly toward making New York the sixth marriage equality state in the country. They were strategic and dogged, they never lost hope, and they always took the high road to equality.

“As a major cultural and population center for our nation and the world, the state of New York today has sent a powerful message of liberty and equality for all that will no doubt resonate far beyond the state’s borders,” Buseck added. “This is a momentous day for the marriage equality movement.”

GLAD’s marriage equality lawsuit, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, was decided on November 18, 2003, making Massachusetts the first state in which same-sex couples could marry. GLAD also successfully litigated Kerrigan v. Mock, which brought marriage equality to Connecticut in 2008. The organization also litigated Baker v. Vermont with Vermont attorneys Susan Murray and Beth Robinson, which in 2000 led to the country’s very first civil union law.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England’s leading legal organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.

Working Families Party:

WFP SALUTES MARRIAGE EQUALITY

PARTY IS PROUD TO STAND BY PRO-EQUALITY CANDIDATES

The following statement can be attributed to WFP Executive Director Dan Cantor:

Today marks another step in history’s uneven but resolute march to justice.  As with other historic steps, such as interracial marriages, women’s suffrage or a worker’s right to join a union, in relatively short time we will forget why it was that basic decency required such a major struggle.  But we should never forget two things — that this enormous victory only came about due to generations of activism, and that more needs to be done to continue to perfect this state and country.

The Working Families Party is committed to economic and social justice for all families – regardless of race, class, religion, sexual orientation, or any of the other characteristics used to divide and discriminate. We’re proud to stand by so many of our endorsed WF candidates who voted the right way tonight, and we’re gratified to have played even a small role in pushing the ball forward.

If America stands for anything, it is equality under the law. That’s what this vote reaffirms.

Update: Governor Cuomo has already signed the marriage equality bill!  The law goes into effect in 30 days.

History was made in Albany, New York late Friday as the Republican-controlled New York state Senate passed the Marriage Equality Act with a bipartisan 33-29 vote.  The Assembly already passed the bill several weeks ago with a 80-63 vote, then again early Friday evening passed an amendment required for Senate approval with a 82-48 vote.  The bill now goes to Governor Cuomo’s desk for his signature.  

With passage of the marriage equality bill, the number of Americans living in a state that has ended marriage discrimination has doubled, according to Freedom to Marry.

The new law will will go into effect 30 days after the Governor’s signature.  Gov. Cuomo has reportedly been a driving force in getting this legislation passed, along with New Yorkers United for Marriage, a coalition of the LGBT rights groups Empire State Pride Agenda, the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and Marriage Equality New York.

Huge banner in front of Stonewall Inn, which reads “New York Loves Gay Marriage”. Photo credit: Clarknt67.

Reactions below the fold.

NOTE FROM PAM: I’m in Tampa, FL for the National Organization for Women conference, and conventioneers were celebrating off-the-hook in tiaras singing “New York, New York” after the news about the vote.  I was in the suite of NOW Action Vice President Erin Matson Tweeting the action:

And thanks to barista Scott, who has a  celebratory post about the NY marriage win, featuring me (and Kate); but the telling item in the diary is this parody graphic of NOM’s Maggie Gallagher:

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Laurel Ramseyer

Laurel Ramseyer

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