After what seemed to be the longest debate in New York State history, gay marriage is now legal!
According to MSNBC, after days of contentious negotiations and last-minute reversals by two Republican senators, New York became the sixth and largest state in the U.S. to legalize gay marriage, breathing life into the national gay rights movement that had stalled over a nearly identical bill here two years ago.
Pending any court challenges, legal gay marriages can begin in New York by late July after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed his bill into law just before midnight Friday.
At New York City’s Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich Village pub that spawned the gay rights movement on a June night in 1969, Scott Redstone watched New York sign the historic same-sex marriage law with his partner of 29 years, and popped the question.
“I said, ‘Will you marry me?’ And he said, ‘Of course!'” Redstone said he and Steven Knittweis walked home to pop open a bottle of champagne.
New York becomes the sixth state where gay couples can wed, doubling the number of Americans living in a state with legal gay marriage.
“That’s certainly going to have a ripple effect across the nation,” said Ross Levi, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda. “It’s truly a historic night for love, our families, and democracy won.”
“We made a powerful statement,” Cuomo said. “This state is at its finest when it is a beacon of social justice.”
The leading opponent, Democratic Sen. Ruben Diaz, was given only a few minutes to state his case during the Senate debate.
“God, not Albany, settled the issue of marriage a long time ago,” said Diaz, a Bronx minister. “I’m sorry you are trying to take away my right to speak,” he said. “Why are you ashamed of what I have to say?”
The Catholic Bishops of New York said the law alters “radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage.”
“We always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love,” the bishops stated Friday, “We worry that both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization.”
In my opinion, it’s about time!
I do not have may friends who are gay but the ones that I do have, I believe, have the right to love and share the rest of their lives with whom they seem fit. No law can determine that.
To the religious who strongly oppose this law for various reasons, I say, let God be the judge and let God be the judge alone! Let those who want to live their lives as they see fit, LIVE! The end.