It finally happened. Friday June 24th, lawmakers in New York approved the bill which will legalize same sex marriage across the state. The long and difficult campaign finally came to head when the bill was won out with 33 to 29 votes around 10:30 pm Friday.
One of the most controversial issues in politics and culture is the idea of same sex marriage and it has plagued LGBTQ communities for years. Party lines have frayed under the weight of such an issue, but this same diversion from party strictures is what caused the new law to be passed. Surprisingly enough, four Republican officials voted along with all but one Democrat in the Senate to vote on the bill.
Republican Senators James Alesi and Mark Grisanti both celebrated the passing of the bill after opposing it for so long. Alesi was the first Republican to break from his party on the issue this year and Grisanti has even apologized to those he had offended before supporting the bill. Governor Andrew Cuomo got the bill through the Assembly last week and successful in passing it through the Senate Friday. The bill will go into effect in thirty days, meaning that marriages between couples who have waited so long for equal rights will be able to wed in late July.
One of these such couples is actor Neil Patrick Harris and his partner David Burtka. Early yesterday NPH tweeted “I’d sure love to get married. Please, NY Senate, vote in favor of marriage equality today. My family would really appreciate it.” Once it did pass he tweeted again, this time saying “It PASSED! Marriage equality in NY!! Yes!! Progress!! Thank you everyone who worked so hard on this!! A historic night!” Fans soon began asking over the social media site whether he or Burtka had proposed yet. Burtka confirmed this via Twitter and Harris later revealed that they had in fact been engaged for five years!
For many couples like this equality has finally arrived and the wait is over in New York. This is a huge stepping stone in the fight for LGBTQ rights across the nation and globe as New York is the largest state so far to pass a same sex marriage bill. Being the hometown of this struggle, New York is an especially significant victory. Hopefully for the LGBTQ community this creates a domino effect and will push the fight onward.