Excerpts of New York ushers in same-sex marriage, Douglas Sabiston, Examiner.com
Hundreds of gay couples tied the knot in New York Sunday as the state became the sixth and largest to recognize same-sex marriage in the United States.
State lawmakers voted 33 to 29 June 24 to lift the ban on same-sex marriage, and a political campaign that lasted years finally came to an end. The new law took effect 30 days later, and at the stroke of midnight July 24, gay marriage became legal for the first time in New York history.
Thousands of opponents rallied in Manhattan, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo chanting "let the people vote!" The rallies, organized by National Organization for Marriage (NOM), were timed to coincide with the first day the new law took effect. Despite recent polls indicating that a majority of New Yorkers support gay marriage, opponents believe if the issue is put to a vote, traditional marriage will be upheld.
"The actions of these legislators and the governor not only betrayed the trust of those who elected them, but also outraged the silent majority," NOM President Brian Brown said in a press release. "Voters in 31 other states have been able to decide the definition of marriage for their states, but New Yorkers have been denied that right."
The United States has typically lagged behind Canada in advancing gay rights. Last week, Canada celebrated its sixth year of legalized gay marriages nationwide.