Andrew Cuomo Sends NY Gay Marriage Bill To State Legislature

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) sent New York’s gay marriage bill to the state legislature Tuesday, effectively kicking the state’s battle over marriage equality into high gear in the last week of the legislative session.

Capital Tonight
reports that it will be ready for a vote in about three days.“Specifically, the Act grants same-sex couples who seek to marry equal status under the law as well as hundreds of rights, benefits and protections that are currently limited to married couples of the opposite sex,” according to a Cuomo press release.

“For too long, same-sex couples have been denied the freedom to marry, as well as hundreds of rights that other New Yorkers take for granted,” he said in the release. “Marriage Equality is a matter of fairness and legal security for thousands of families in this state – not of religion or culture. When it comes to fighting for what’s right, New Yorkers wrote the book, and Marriage Equality is the next chapter of our civil rights story.”

In the past few days there have been a number of big breakthroughs in support of the legislation, as it picked up backing from key undecided state Senators. Three Democrats and one Republican announced Monday they would support it, after having opposed a similar version in 2009 that ultimately failed in the Senate. This means the legislation has 30 supporters out of the required 32, with four Republicans still officially undecided.

But Cuomo has previously said that he and other supporters wouldn’t bring up the bill in the state Senate unless they knew it would pass, which could mean it already has the necessary support. “We don’t want to bring a bill up in the Senate that would fail,” Cuomo said in May. “Nobody wants to have an instant replay of last year. It’s not having a vote for the sake of the vote.”