Gay Marriage Is Legal In New York!

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A milestone for civil rights: gay marriage is now legal in New York! You can now claim to attend school in a “progressive” state.

Last Friday night around 10 pm, news started leaking out: two Republican state Senators had just announced they would support the gay marriage bill in the NY State Senate. A few minutes after this announcement, the bill was brought to the floor of the Senate, where it was approved 33-29, ending a long behind-the-scenes political process. Almost immediately, Governor Andrew Cuomo, who turned passage of a gay marriage bill into a personal crusade, signed the bill into law.

A touching tale: during a recess, Senator Huntley, a Democrat who had just come out in support in the bill, hugged Daniel O’Donnell, an openly gay Assemblyman who sponsored the legislation. According to the New York Times front page story, O’Donnell teared up and announced, holding his partner’s hand, “we’re going to invite you to our wedding.”

Celebrations erupted throughout the city—especially outside Stonewall, where the gay rights movement started almost 42 years ago—and the Empire State Building lit up with rainbow lights. Proposals ensued! And the final passage of the bill came conveniently right before New York City Pride Weekend.

New York is the largest state to allow gay marriage, and over 10% of Americans can now legally marry whomever they want. More states are likely to follow, as a recent poll shows that a majority of Americans support gay marriage. This is sure to put pressure on President Obama, who came to the city on Thursday and told a crowd of gay-rights supporters that he supported equality for all, but he still failed to endorse wholeheartedly same-sex marriage. (“In civil rights terms, it is 1965,” writes Remnick in the New Yorker, “but Obama is still acting like F.D.R. And that is no credit to a worthy and ambitious presidency). Even so, Obama has arguably been more sympathetic to gay rights than any other American president. But is history still the best “yardstick”?

Update, 6/29 6:30 pm: One commenter points out that some states have already passed constitutional amendments prohibiting gays from marrying. Slate has an excellent piece on how the voters of 2004 are preventing the voters of 2011 from allowing marriage equality. We’re in the midst of a demographic and cultural transition!

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  1. not true bwog

    "over 10% of Americans can now legally marry whomever they want" isn't quite true. Age, relation and an existing husband or wife all limit someone's ability to marry "whomever they want". If we are allowing gays to marry why not allow polygamy, polyandry and group, underaged and/or cousin marriage?

    • Anonymous

      I still can't marry my cat...it's so discriminatory.

    • Anonymous

      Why do we still have stupid people at Columbia?

    • love all the down votes

      with the only responses being a joke and an insult. Its hard to take the other side seriously when they won't respond to a reasonable challenge of their stance.

      • unemployed & bored

        I think the cat joke was a pretty reasonable response to your suggestion that whether two people of the same gender should be able to marry has anything to do with whether it should be possible to marry a child whose decision-making abilities haven't yet fully developed (I assume that's what you mean by "underaged" marriage). If you think those are actually similar enough to be worried that one might lead to the other, why not also worry about New York legalizing marriage to another category of our associates who are incapable of making decisions for themselves - pets?

        More generally, it's true that, as you put it, "age, relation and an existing husband or wife all limit someone’s ability to marry 'whomever they want'." I think the point is that it's perfectly consistent, and even reasonable, to believe that one's age, blood ties, and pre-existing spouse should limit one's ability to marry (though each for a different reason), but that gender should not.

    • because...

      No one's proposing that. The slippery slope argument doesn't work if there's no chance we'll head down that road. And the reason people aren't taking you seriously is because this fact is so obvious only someone not worth taking seriously would ignore it.

      • Anonymous

        in all fairness, no one was 'proposing' gay marriage a 100 years ago either. not sure why your 'fact' is so obvious but the OP lays down a logical argument. if there is one thing we should have learnt from the civil rights movement is that what may seem unethical now may not be tomorrow.

        • Also

          You know we don't need to sign the cat thing into law just cause gay marriage happened, right? We can consider all of these things based upon their own merit. This one was a no brainer.

  2. why

    you guys are slowly but unswervingly losing all credibility as a news source. yes, i'm sure most people wouldn't have heard it first from you anyway, but you should have broken this as it happened, just as you should have covered graduation as it happened and not with a uniform three- to four-day lag. these are events that are actually important.

  3. Not only 10%

    NYS has no residency requirements for issuing marriage licenses and certificates. So any couple from ANYWHERE can legally get married in NY starting late July 2011. What happens when they return home is another matter entirely.

  4. Cthulhu  


  5. Hmmm

    The mention of the polls is funny, every single state that held elections (31 of them) concerning marriage voted to fortify the traditional definition

  6. Anonymous

    Also: "Senator Huntley, a Democrat who had just come out in support in the bill"

    I see what you did there...

  7. Anonymous

    The gay rights movement didn't begin with Stonewall.

  8. BwogFail

    Since the Bwog is (used to be an incredible) Columbia institution, it would probably be prudent to point out that Assemblyman O'Donnell is the Assemblyman for the district that encompasses Columbia. I think his office is on 103rd between Broadway and Riverside or something. He's been working to get this passed since at least 2004. And finally, he's also Rosie O'Donnell's brother. A little research beyond reading the New York Times coverage wouldn't kill ya, Bwog.

  9. Repeal of  

    the law of gravity will be next. And those who remain hopelessly grounded will be painted as bigots and backward know-nothings.

  10. Anonymous  


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