New York Approves Marriage for Same-Sex Couples: Lambda Legal Says "Equality Prevailed"

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"Love conquers all. Today our state government rose above the political fray and did the right thing for New York families."
June 24, 2011
Susan Sommer

"Equality carries momentum."

(New York, June 24, 2011)—Today, the New York state legislature voted to pass the marriage equality bill introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo, ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage in New York. New York will become the sixth state in the nation, in addition to the District of Columbia, where same-sex couples have the right to marry.

Susan Sommer, Director of Constitutional Litigation at Lambda Legal, made the following statement:

"Love conquers all. Today our state government rose above the political fray and did the right thing for New York families. Equality prevailed.

"Today we celebrate with the thousands of lesbian and gay New Yorkers who will now be able to get married in their own home towns instead of traveling to do so. It takes a lot of people working together to make history. We congratulate our colleagues at Empire State Pride Agenda and our other sister organizations who formed New Yorkers United for Marriage and fought so hard for this victory, and all the activists and allies in New York who wrote letters and made phone calls. We thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership, and we are proud of the state legislators who voted for equality.

"The path to equality in New York, like in other states, has had twists and turns. In 2004, Lambda Legal brought a marriage equality lawsuit in state court (Hernandez v. Robles), and while we won an early victory at the trial court, that decision was later overturned. But we never stopped fighting for the rights of same-sex couples and their families in New York. We won legal battles to establish recognition of out-of-state marriages, and just last year, we won a high court decision protecting the parental rights of a lesbian mother.

"Equality carries momentum. Same-sex couples have the freedom to marry in two out of three of the states in the tri-state area, and it’s time for New Jersey to catch up. We will soon be in New Jersey to announce the next chapter of our work to bring marriage equality to that state."

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