In a 33-29 decision, the New York State Senate voted to legalize marriage equality in Albany tonight with the help of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who introduced the measure. This makes New York the sixth and most populous U.S. state to allow gay marriage.
This means that same-sex weddings can start taking place in New York as early as thirty days from now. The biggest holdup on the Senate vote concerned the demand to change the language to firmly establish that any religious institution has the right to refuse to officiate at such ceremonies. This proved to be a no-brainer not even worth fighting about but once those provisions were added, they had all but one promised vote to pass the bill. That last vote ultimately came from Stephen Saland, who after killing an enormous amount of time yammering on and on on the senate floor, finally agreed as a “matter of conscience” to vote in favor of marriage equality…cause up till now he somehow managed to remain the last man on Earth to be undecided on this issue. “I have to define doing the right thing as treating all persons with equality and that equality includes within the definition of marriage,” Republican Senator Stephen Saland said. He was one of four Republicans to vote for the legislation.
Even the Westboro Baptist Church expressed their support via Twitter. Megan Phelps tweeted: “@NYSenate @BarackObama This nation is cursed & w/o hope. Give them fag marriage so USA can finish destruction-sprint. God’s done w you!”
Congratulations New York!