Friday night’s historic passage of same-sex marriage legislation in New York leaves few obstacles remaining for those who want to exercise their rights under the new law. But a real question for the state’s same-sex couples remains: How soon can they tie the knot?
Now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed the legislation (he did so just before midnight Friday), the answer is late July. Excepting successful court challenges, CBS News reports that even couples from outside the state can make a trip to get hitched, since New York does not have residency requirements.
"It means that all of my friends can finally do the thing that they wanted to do, that I can do," Alison Casillo told CBS Station WCBS. "It means that we're equal."
As the sixth and by far the most populous state to pass gay marriage legislation, New York may change the larger debate on the issue, proponents say. The Associated Press reports marriage equality supporters, who just a year ago suffered a crushing defeat in the state’s senate on similar legislation, hope the victory will convince others, including President Obama, to take a firm stand for same-sex marriage.
Fred Sainz of the Human Rights campaign told the AP that passage “sends the message that marriage equality across the country is a question of ‘when,’ not ‘if.’ "
President Obama, who recently visited New York for a gala with the gay community, has stopped short of supporting same-sex unions outright, instead saying he thought all couples should have equal rights, and that states should lead the way on the issue.
A statement from the White House given to The Huffington Post said, “The process in New York worked just as it should."
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