Published on Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (http://www.governor.ny.gov)
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Albany, NY (June 14, 2011) Marriage Equality Act FULL TEXT in PDF FORMAT
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today submitted a program bill to bring marriage equality to New York state. The Marriage Equality Act permits all couples to enter into marriage in New York state, thereby removing the current barrier same-sex couples face in recognizing their relationships, protecting their families and obtaining essential benefits.
Specifically, the Act grants same-sex couples who seek to marry equal status under the law as well as hundreds of rights, benefits and protections that are currently limited to married couples of the opposite sex.
"From the fight for women's suffrage to the struggle for civil rights, New Yorkers have been on the right side of history. But on the issue of marriage equality, our state has fallen behind," Governor Cuomo said. "For too long, same-sex couples have been denied the freedom to marry, as well as hundreds of rights that other New Yorkers take for granted. Marriage Equality is a matter of fairness and legal security for thousands of families in this state – not of religion or culture. When it comes to fighting for what's right, New Yorkers wrote the book, and Marriage Equality is the next chapter of our civil rights story."
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the freedom to marry is "one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free people." Further, the state assigns hundreds of protections, benefits and mutual responsibilities in a variety of areas to couples who marry, including health care and hospital visitation rights, child custody issues and financial matters.
However, in New York, many individuals who currently seek to exercise the freedom to marry their partners may not do so solely because they are of the same sex.
The Marriage Equality Act would remove these barriers by amending New York's Domestic Relations Law to state:
2 Republicans have announced support for the bill:
On Monday, Senator James S. Alesi of Monroe County became the first Republican senator to declare support for the bill,
Senator Alesi explains support for same-sex marriage: Sen. James Alesi, R-Perinton, said he would support the legalization of same-sex marriage if it comes to the Senate floor. Video by Joe Spector
On Tuesday a second Republican state senator Roy J. McDonald came forward to support the measure, Will NYS Senate pass gay marriage bill?
Republican senators who had previously voted against same-sex marriage are now undecided, including Mark Grisanti of Buffalo, Stephen M. Saland of the Hudson Valley and Andrew J. Lanza from Staten Island.
VIDEO and TEXT CREDIT:
- Sen. James Alesi backs same-sex marriage in final week of session | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com
- Roy J. McDonald Will NYS Senate pass gay marriage bill?