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

(BREAKING NEWS: Shortly after the Senate’s passage of the marriage equality bill late Friday night, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed it into law, just before midnight, making New York the sixth state with marriage equality.)

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hailed the New York Senate’s passage tonight 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 earlier this month 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.

Statement by National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey on this victory:

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.

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, attending press conferences and pushing for the passage of the bill.