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Jun 24, 2011 11:22 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

New York State Senate Approves Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

Jun 28, 2011 7:14 PM

Lesbian and gay couples across the state won a major victory on Friday night, as New York became the sixth and largest state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage.

The New York State Senate approved the Marriage Equality Act with a 33-29 vote at about 10:30 p.m. on Friday. There was speculation for days as to whether the bill would get the one vote it needed to pass before the end of the session, as earlier this month only 31 senators out of 62 said they would support the measure. The State Assembly had approved the measure earlier this month, with State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., who represents the South Fork, voting in favor.

Drew Biondo, a spokesman for New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, a Republican who represents the South Fork, stated earlier during the day that the senator remained opposed to the bill, and he was one of 29 senators to vote against the measure during the extended session. Mr. LaValle did not return requests seeking comment this week.

One East Hampton resident was highly critical of Mr. LaValle’s “no” vote. Marnie McBryde sent Mr. LaValle’s office a funeral flower arrangement to symbolize his “political death” in voting against the legislation. She said she didn’t understand how Mr. LaValle could support a state measure allowing same-sex couples to adopt children, but at the same time not permit them to marry. Ms. McBryde and her partner, whom she declined to name, have a 2-year-old adopted son, Jackson.

“If you’re giving us the opportunity to adopt children, why don’t you give them the opportunity to have them thrive, and have their lives be as meaningful as possible and have the legitimacy that a family deserves?” she asked.

The measure’s approval was cause for celebration for many across the state. Last weekend’s annual gay pride parade in New York City, held two days after the passage of the historic legislation, took on a new significance for those who attended.

“There were so many more people, and everybody was just ... it was euphoria,” said Sagaponack resident Kim Kakerbeck, who is a member and former co-chair of the Empire State Pride Agenda, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group. “Absolute euphoria. I really never experienced anything like it.”

The Marriage Equality Act amends New York’s Domestic Relations Law to clarify that any marriage that is otherwise recognized by the state will be valid if the parties are of the same gender. Same-sex couples will enjoy all of the benefits, rights and privileges granted to heterosexual couples once the law goes into effect 30 days from its signing.

Applications for marriage licenses must be granted to same-sex couples. There was an amendment made to the bill that grants protection to religious organizations, said Mr. Thiele, ensuring that they will not be forced to marry same-sex couples. It also adds language 
that protects the organizations from potential legal challenges if they don’t perform the marriages.

There were big crowds lobbying for and against the measure at the Capitol in Albany, Mr. Thiele said this week. “It was almost surreal I think,” he said, describing the aftermath. “I’d say the word that would describe the way I felt was ‘gratified.’”

The Reverend Donald Havrilla, pastor of the Southampton Full Gospel Church, and a vocal critic of the measure, condemned the approval of the legislation, calling same-sex marriage a “sin.” He said he fears that the lesbian and gay community is on a mission to seek approval for their acts throughout all parts of the community.

“They basically have an agenda that’s obvious to get this acceptance of this behavior into the schools, the curriculum and almost every aspect of our society,” he said. Rev. Havrilla also said he did not believe the last minute amendment added to the bill will actually help protect religious groups from facing legal challenges by couples who are denied ceremonies.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation just before midnight on Friday. It will take effect in 30 days, which 
means same-sex couples will be able to obtain marriage licenses in July.

“New York has finally torn down the barrier that has prevented same-sex couples from exercising the freedom to marry and from receiving the fundamental protections that so many couples and families take for granted,” Mr. Cuomo, who introduced and lobbied for passage of the legislation, said in a statement. “With the world watching, the legislature, by a bipartisan vote, has said that all New Yorkers are equal under the law. With this vote, marriage equality will become a reality in our state, delivering long overdue fairness and legal security to thousands of New Yorkers.”

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By Mr. Z (11364), North Sea on Jun 24, 11 11:49 PM
Now you can make it legal mr Z
By razza5350 (1906), East Hampton on Jun 25, 11 8:15 PM
Actually, four members of my family would find this welcoming.

But, not me, dumba$$.
By Mr. Z (11364), North Sea on Jun 26, 11 10:29 PM
You have a great sense of humor. I'll bet your a ton of fun at a dinner party.
By razza5350 (1906), East Hampton on Jun 26, 11 10:32 PM
Just that hint of irreverence, goes a long way...
Jun 26, 11 10:44 PM appended by Mr. Z
Most likely, the difference between you and I is that not only do I know what "decorum" means, I can spell it too...
By Mr. Z (11364), North Sea on Jun 26, 11 10:44 PM
Congratulations to all: gay, bi, and straight. Tonight this state acquired 4 new profiles in courage and took another step closer to equality for all. Makes you think there still might be hope we won't let the greed of a few destroy the planet for all.
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Jun 25, 11 12:07 AM
1 member liked this comment
A historic and important moment indeed. Congratulations to all of us who believe in equality and the pursuit of happiness! And a big nyeh-nyeh-nyeh to Maggie Gallagher!
By HEJIRANYC (32), Sag Harbor on Jun 25, 11 2:54 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By local69 (65), southampton on Jun 25, 11 7:31 AM
This is a great day for the people of New York and a big step forward, but there is still plenty to do. Same-sex marriage was never a "religious" issue. There is nothing spiritual about limiting the rights of a certain group of people because of your own personal hang-ups.
By Steven (113), Westhampton on Jun 25, 11 10:04 AM
If Captn America hates our Constitution and believes some of its citizens should not have equal rights, that's his business. I thank the Goddess of Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness for continuing to favor progressive laws that would not permit the U.S. to establish Sharia Law, nor the hateful contradictions of a Vatican whose moral teachings on sexuality is bonkers (birth control, condoms to prevent AIDs, celibacy for its mostly gay clergy, abortion rights, etc.,) causing perhaps 40 million ...more
By mo (89), Sag Harbor on Jun 25, 11 3:02 PM
3 members liked this comment
I'll take you up on yr deal Captn. If you choose to believe in the Sky God please don't try to impose your beliefs on others & I won't impose my beliefs upon believers by advocating for laws that discriminate against them. I did not attack Xtians or Moslems or Hindi or Catholics or Devil Worshipers or Santa. If people want to believe in the supernatural may they obtain heaven, 80 Virgins in Paradise (does that mean Moslems get to screw post-mortem up in the Sky) when believers meet their reward.
By mo (89), Sag Harbor on Jun 26, 11 6:34 AM
have never heard that whole sky god thing. pretty clever! i notice you spell out devil worshipers, but christians is too long for you to type. pretty provocative! good stuff.
By kaluss (113), Southampton on Jun 26, 11 6:53 AM
"ho mo"?! Captn, it needs to be said plainly and simply: you are an ignorant, hateful, bigoted pig who attempts to overwhelm every conversation with hate and stupidity. If this country is to survive and prosper it will only happen when folks like you and joehampton, et al are even further marginalized then you already are. You are a miserable wretch crying out for attention in a world that has no use for you. May your Gid forgive you.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Jun 26, 11 1:31 PM
3 members liked this comment
I thought quoting cappy was a positive. However, due to the lack of acceptance of lifestyle, there is and undue strain placed on relationships. This extra strain, sort of like Brenda and Eddie low on money, leads to a higher frequency of potential, "suitors", shall we say. The lack of acceptance in society does contribute to the high frequency of "love lost".

But, maybe I should re-read this thread again...
By Mr. Z (11364), North Sea on Jun 26, 11 10:37 PM
progressnow, I could not have said it better myself. You are correct on all counts!
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Jun 27, 11 1:48 PM
Well if your antagonists weren't sure before, they are now. You were probably better off not trying to justify it. That is the stuff of fearful ignorance, and that's coming from Local69!
Jun 27, 11 4:33 PM appended by local69
that was directed to capn america.
By local69 (65), southampton on Jun 27, 11 4:33 PM
Here is my 2 cents... Who cares if some people are gay or some straight. I would gladly trade a civil union bill for the complete overturning of Roe VS Wade. What do you say progressives do we have a deal? We stop sanctioning murder of baby's and at the same time you can have your civil union legislation.... I am serious.... then maybe we can move on to other issues like the economy
By joe hampton (3348), south hampton on Jun 25, 11 3:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
<------- " There you go again " Joe , Making too much sense
By 27dan (2703), Southampton on Jun 25, 11 3:21 PM
Great news for New York and proof that the voices of hate may often be the loudest, but , in the end, they will always be drowned out by the voices of reason.

By dagdavid (646), southampton on Jun 25, 11 3:37 PM
There is no relationship between Christianity and homophobia. There is nothing in the New Testament that speaks to homosexuality and obviously same-sex marriage is never addressed. True Christians - people of God - do not repress other people and make their lives difficult.

The Unamerican radical right hides behind their born again cover, but they cannot escape their own self-hatred. As we all know homophobia is most prevalent in closet gays. People should just be who they are and leave ...more
By Steven (113), Westhampton on Jun 25, 11 8:10 PM
Christianity was a rebellious sect, which preached against Paganism, as well as Roman Society. In it's most base form, it was rebellious against the "sexual freedom" enjoyed by Roman culture.
Jun 26, 11 10:40 PM appended by Mr. Z
I mean, seriously, Pompeii had d***s carved in stone, in the streets...
By Mr. Z (11364), North Sea on Jun 26, 11 10:40 PM
Some historians blame Christianity for Romes Decline.
The reasoning being, the Christians focused more on the hereafter and not real life circumstances.
By Rockdirt (2), Southampton on Jul 6, 11 4:36 PM
Greed was the same reason for the fall of the Roman Empire, just like so many other potential ones as well.
Jul 6, 11 11:19 PM appended by Mr. Z
Let's rock the house, cuz'...
By Mr. Z (11364), North Sea on Jul 6, 11 11:19 PM
Congrats to you
By razza5350 (1906), East Hampton on Jun 25, 11 8:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
Way to go Gov. Cuomo...guy is doing a pretty good job in my opinion. I am always a proud New Yorker but especially today.
By kaluss (113), Southampton on Jun 25, 11 9:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
Capn America, thank you for your posts. You do present well thought out ideas in a civil manner, regardless of how missguided they are.
I am a Christian and I like to remind my fellow Christians that "Christ" really only
asked us to be nice to each other. I have read your views and thought about
what you wrote so I ask the same from you. This is why I feel NY has set a
new high water mark in basic human decency. If you tell a segment of the population that they don't qualify for ...more
By Rockdirt (2), Southampton on Jul 6, 11 4:00 PM
2 members liked this comment
As soon as this passed, every divorce lawyer in the state licked there wolven chops.

What's common for the goose, well...
Jul 6, 11 11:29 PM appended by Mr. Z
Aplogies. Rushed that one. Every CRAVEN divorce lawyer, licked "their" chops...
By Mr. Z (11364), North Sea on Jul 6, 11 11:29 PM

Love thy neighbor, unless they're "queer"...
By Mr. Z (11364), North Sea on Jul 6, 11 11:15 PM
It is all fine. But I have one request. Can the gay, lesbian, transgender and bi sexual community stop running around in public like Carmen Miranda then asking me to accept then as completely normal? If I run out of the house down the street in some highly ridiculous outfit that doesn't fit into any societal norm - and that is all fine to do - just don't get all pissed off at me, if I look at you like some sort of idiot. Because that is what I would expect if I did the same. Now go get married, ...more
By local69 (65), southampton on Jul 7, 11 6:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
Perhaps "they" look at you that way because you are some sort of ____ (I will allow your post to speak for itself on the blank). By the way, how about instead of asking millions of people to adapt to your skewed vision of normalcy, they ask you to adapt to theirs. You see, for many people, gay and straight, what is normal is acceptance and decency and what is abnormal is small-minded, bigotry.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Jul 7, 11 9:53 AM
the kids do not need to see over the top displays of stupidity just so they can prove a point ...grow up
Jul 7, 11 10:32 PM appended by joe hampton
What you call progress I call infantile
By joe hampton (3348), south hampton on Jul 7, 11 10:32 PM