The Marriage Equality Act passed the New York Assembly last night with a vote of 80-63 after extended debates that discussed family, religion, tradition, and protecting gay and lesbian families.
The vote went pretty predictably along party lines, with Democrats exhorting their Republican counterparts to join the movement and GOP Assemblymen insisting that their anti-marriage stance wasn't about bigotry, but tradition.
Democratic Assemblyman Micah Kellner supported the bill, stating very simply "This is about people's happiness," while Republican Steve McLaughlin asserted his position "doesn't make me a bigot, it makes me a traditional American."
Right Steve! You're continuing a long American tradition of oppressing those who are different from yourself.
Luckily, the day went to the Democrats, and the bill is now headed to the Senate. It is unlikely that the bill will come to a vote until Friday, giving pro-marriage advocates the chance to intensify their lobbying. Only one more vote is necessary for passage of the bill, according to tallies, though Governor Cuomo has stated that he doesn't doubt that the law will pass.
I'm writing from Netroots Nation, where advocates and bloggers are excitedly awaiting news of victory. Will NY make up for its failure in 2009? Hopefully we will find out tomorrow.