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
As Doug Behl and Terry Goldman prepared to get married, they thought about the life they had built together, the ways that marriage would strengthen their commitment, and how this legal bond would protect their future family.
In recent years, Sion has learned the power of photography, and he has worked hard to develop his photographic passions in order to share stories of why marriage matters, how same-sex couples share the same love and commitment that different-sex couples share, and why DOMA needs to be overturned.
Today, Freedom to Marry and Third Way released a memo demonstrating that state legislators who vote in favor of marriage for same-sex couples continue to win voter support when running for reelection. The analysis demonstrates that 97% of state legislators who voted for the freedom to marry and ran for reelection won in 2012, compared to 90% of incumbent state legislators nationwide.
Resources Related to New York
A media primer on the LGBT issues landscape for the coming year released by the Human Rights Campaign.
A Quinnipiac University poll found by the highest margin ever, 56 – 37 percent, New Yorkers support the freedom to marry.
A listing of both state and national political parties that have made strong statements in support of the freedom to marry.