The New York State Assembly just voted to pass the marriage bill by a vote of 85 to 61. The vote comes a bit over a month after Gov. Spitzer introduced the bill into the Legislature and a bit under a year since the NYS Court of Appeals ruled that it’s the Legislature’s job to decide on the issue of same-sex marriage. We’ll post the vote tally shortly.
Although marriage for same-sex couples is not yet law in New York, this vote isn’t something to be taken lightly. Since the Court of Appeals decision last July, the New York State LGBT community and our allies have been relentlessly engaged in a dialogue with elected officials that quite powerfully conveyed how important this issue is to us—and that we are not going to let up anytime soon. The Assembly heard this and understood that the majority of New Yorkers believe in marriage equality. Hopefully the Senate is listening a little more intently than Joe Bruno would have us otherwise believing.
The Assembly vote was bipartisan.
New York is only the second state where at least one chamber has passed a bill that would legalize full marriage equality for same-sex couples. California is the other, and that state’s Assembly just passed a marriage equality bill for the second time. The California State Senate is also expected to pass the bill, but Governor Schwarzenegger has promised to veto it.
Now the only thing that stands between gay New Yorkers and their ability to marry is the State Senate, and Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno has mentioned more than once that the marriage bill will not be moving under his watch. His majority, however, has been steadily shrinking—most notably (and most recently) with Craig Johnson’s victory this past February as an openly pro-marriage equality candidate in a traditionally Republican district.
Also, Governor Spitzer, who introduced and heavily supports same-sex marriage, has only seen a rise in approval ratings since he introduced the marriage program bill into the NYS legislature on April 27.
The times they are a-changin’