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.

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