Washington, D.C. — With a bipartisan vote, the New York Senate passed a bill that will allow same-sex couples to marry, following a similar vote by the state assembly last week. When Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the bill into law, hundreds of thousands of gay people in New York will have the same state-level marriage rights that all other residents currently enjoy. Jeff Krehely, Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at CAP, issued the following statement:
"Today is a great day for all people living in New York state, as well as anyone in our country who cares about equality and fairness. With this vote, as well as several polls showing that most Americans support marriage equality for gay couples, it is clear that our nation has reached a tipping point on this issue. More battles are ahead, but fairness and acceptance are clearly going to win—as they did today in New York."
Once the law is in place, New York will be the largest state that has marriage equality. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington, D.C., currently allow same-sex couples to marry. Unfortunately, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act prevents the federal government from allowing any legally married same-sex couples to access hundreds of critical family-support programs like Social Security survivor benefits. Advocates are working to repeal this discriminatory law.