New York

STATUS:

Marriage

WINNING MARRIAGE:

On June 24, 2011, New York became the seventh jurisdiction to legalize the freedom to marry when the state legislature passed a marriage bill that was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo that evening. The State Assembly passed the bill by a vote of 80-63 on June 15, 2011. The State Senate passed the bill by a vote of 33-29 on June 24, 2011.

As of July 25, 2011, same-sex couples can apply for a marriage license in New York.
Freedom to Marry worked closely with Governor Cuomo and New Yorkers United for Marriage, a coalition Freedom to Marry co-created and co-led, to win marriage in New York.

HISTORY:

Governor Andrew Cuomo had repeatedly called for the legislature to pass a marriage bill including in his 2011 State of the State Address.

In May 2008, David Paterson, the then-governor of New York, directed state agencies to ensure that out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples were respected and treated equally under law, in the same way that New York treats different-sex couples' marriages.

Gov. Paterson's order conformed to New York's historic practice - and the common-sense principle - that it makes more sense to respect marriages than to destabilize them.

On April 16, 2009, Gov. Paterson announced that he introduced a marriage bill to the NY Assembly and Senate. The Assembly passed it twice in 2009 (it passed in 2007 also), but it was unfortunately defeated in the Senate.

POLLING DATA: A super-majority (58%) of New York voters support the freedom to marry. The voter super-majority includes 61% of independent voters and 58% of upstate voters. (Siena Research Institute, April 2011  

GROUPS THAT WORKED ON MARRIAGE:

  • Empire State Pride Agenda is New York's statewide lesbian, gay,bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and advocacy organization.
  • Marriage Equality New York was an all-inclusive organization whose mission was to educate the public by raising awareness of the freedom to marry in New York.
  • New Yorkers United for Marriage is a coalition of organizations dedicated to winning marriage in New York. Freedom to Marry co-created and co-led the coalition. 
  • Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. 
  • Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization.
  • Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
  • New York Log Cabin Republicans is the statewide umbrella group for New York chapters of the largest organization of gay and lesbian Republicans in the country. 

NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:

According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 48,932 same-sex couples are living in New York, representing 6.7 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

Blog Posts Related to New York

After year of momentum, same-sex couples and families give thanks on Thanksgiving

This holiday season, as we spend time with our family, we feel thankful for what we've accomplished this year -- we've won the freedom to marry in eighteen states (for a total of 35 and our nation's capital) and seen marriage move forward across the country.

Freedom to Marry staffers share their own marriage stories from this year

This month, one of our staffers in New York got married, and another team member in Oklahoma got engaged. Here's a look at 5 Freedom to Marry team members celebrating their own personal marriage moments this year:

Freedom to Marry celebrates decade of marriage momentum with ‘Cheers to 10 Years’

On Monday, April 28, Freedom to Marry celebrated its tenth anniversary – and the tenth anniversary of marriage between same-sex couples in the United States – at Cheers to 10 Years: Celebrating Freedom to Marry.

See All »

Resources Related to New York

Tony Kushner’s Presentation of Pride Agenda’s Douglas W. Jones Leadership Award to Evan Wolfson

On Thursday, October 17, 2013, Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson received the Douglas W. Jones Leadership Award at the Empire State Pride Agenda's fall dinner in New York City. Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter behind Angels in America and Lincoln, presented Evan with the prestigious honor.

Media Primer: 2011 Flashpoints for LGBT Equality

A media primer on the LGBT issues landscape for the coming year released by the Human Rights Campaign.

Poll Finds Majority of New Yorkers Support the Freedom to Marry

A Quinnipiac University poll found by the highest margin ever, 56 – 37 percent, New Yorkers support the freedom to marry.

See All »