If you have some of the same Facebook friends I do, your news feed looked something like this at midnight: “New York!!” “NY, ya did good!” “Good job, NY” as if the state were a big, slow dog that had finally sauntered out from under the tree where it had been dozing and started to run. Yes, the state Senate finally ushered in a new era of equality, civil rights and really fun parties late last night by approving a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.
The Republican-dominated Senate approved the bill 33-29, following on the heels of the Assembly, which OK’d the bill last week. Gov. Andrew Cuomo had made the law his personal mission for months, rallying the Democratic senators around the cause and orchestrating the efforts of several gay rights advocacy groups. All but one Democratic senator supported the bill, while four Republicans backed it. Two years ago, the Democrat-controlled Senate resoundingly defeated a similar measure.
New York is the largest state to approve same-sex marriage, joining five others — Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, plus the District of Columbia. A majority of states have an explicit ban, whether by statute or constitutional amendment, on same-sex marriage or civil unions.
Among those not happy about the decision were the Roman Catholic bishops of New York, who worried that “both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government.”
The law goes into effect July 24, which means I’d better start working on fitting into that Catherine Malandrino dress. It could be a festive fall.