Update: Gov. Andew Cuomo signs the Marriage Equality Act just hours after Senate’s passage. Story here.
Statement from New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, on passage of the New York Marriage Equality Act:
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When I was a little girl I dreamed I would one day get married, I never imagined that it would take tonight’s Senate action to make that dream come true. Tonight’s historic Senate vote is a great moment for all New Yorkers. New York State’s recognition of marriage equality for same sex couples is an extraordinary step towards full equality for LGBT people. Tonith’s sweet victory in Albany will be felt all across America. At long last, the change we have fought for will be seen in the lives of families throughout our great state, including my own.
Our community has come a long way from the pre-Stonewall days where people had to deny their own existence and fear recognition from others. This successful vote was made possible by the hard work of many, many New Yorkers. We organized, rallied, called, wrote, emailed, and tweeted, demanding equal rights. Not only LGBT New Yorkers but our parents and friends, neighbors and co-workers. This is a victory for LGBT families, but really it is a victory for all New Yorkers.
Our thanks go to Governor Cuomo, who made this one of his top priorities and never wavered. He is a true hero to our community. Majority Leader Skelos, Minority Leader Sampson and Senator Duane put in tremendous work to pass this bill and deserve our deep gratitude. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell have been relentless champions of our cause. Tonight would never have happened without the tireless sweat and work of all the members of the New Yorkers United for Marriage coalition and the countless supporters whose belief and persistence gave Senate the loud and clear message to extend marriage equality to all New Yorkers. Thanks to my Council colleagues and Mayor Bloomberg for their eloquent calls for equality.
This is a monumental occasion for myself, my family, and the LGBT community. No longer will families in New York have to worry about medical decision-making authority, inheritance rights, presumption of parenthood among many other rights and responsibilities. Today true equality is closer than ever.