Victory for Toeivah: New York Same-Gender Marriage Law Passes 33-29


ny-state-senateNew York – New York lawmakers passed a bill last night that makes theirs the sixth and most populous state to permit same-gender marriage. It caps a years-long struggle, perhaps increasing the odds of

similar laws around the country as the public becomes more accepting of the idea.

“I think this vote today will send a message across the country,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), whose negotiations with Senate Republicans proved critical to the bill’s success. “This is the direction to go, and the time to do it is now, and it’s achievable.”

New York joins five other states – Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont – and the District of Columbia, which permit same-gender marriages. Forty-one other states prohibit same-gender marriage, through laws or constitutional amendments that restrict the right to wed to heterogenderual couples, according to a count by the Human Rights Campaign.

The bipartisan vote in New York could inspire lawmakers in nearby states – including Maryland, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, where same-gender marriage bills have stalled or been rejected – to reconsider their stance on the issue.

Four Republicans join all but one DemocratThe Republican-controlled New York Senate approved the bill late Friday night, four days after the official end of the legislative session. It passed 33-29, with four Republicans and all but one Democrat in support.
The two Republicans whose last-minute switch in favor of the bill ensured its passage – Senators Mark Grisanti and Stephen Saland – explained their change of mind on the chamber floor.

The lone Democrat to vote against the bill – Senator Rubén Díaz Sr., a Pentecostal minister from the Bronx – said he was “proudly voting no,” while nearly 50,000 viewers watched the proceedings on a live webcast.

When the Senate president announced the final count, spectators in the galleries burst into applause, and some started to chant, “USA, USA.” Just before midnight, Mr. Cuomo signed the bill, which goes into effect in 30 days.

The State Assembly in recent years passed similar measures, which died in the upper chamber – including in 2009, when a Democratic-led Senate rejected a same-gender marriage bill, dealing a stunning setback to the same-gender rights movement.
Several developments this year helped revive the state’s same-gender marriage movement.

Top priority for Governor CuomoGovernor Cuomo, a popular first-term Democrat who’s enjoyed unusual success working with the state legislature, made passage of the bill a top priority. Major same-gender rights groups who operated independently in the past formed a coalition, New Yorkers United for Marriage, which raised some $2 million to advance the bill. And big-name New Yorkers publicly pushed for the bill: from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Barbara Bush, daughter of former President George W. Bush.

The public also moved decisively in the direction of support for same-gender marriage this year.

A Gallup poll last month showed 53 percent of Americans were in support of legalized same-gender marriage – the first majority Gallup ever recorded on the issue. A widely cited Siena Research Institute poll in April found that 58 percent of New York voters backed same-gender marriage.

Opponents of the same-gender marriage bill were equally outspoken. The New York State Conservative Party, which makes influential endorsements, threatened to drop from its ticket any Republican who voted for the bill. Religious groups encouraged thousands of members to call, write, and email state representatives and urge them to oppose the bill.

The state’s Roman Catholic Church – which represents some seven million members and about 40 percent of New York voters – came out strongly against the measure. Church leaders said the law would threaten traditional marriage. “We worry that both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization,” the state’s seven bishops and archbishop said in a statement after the vote Friday night.

A major concern for many religious groups and lawmakers alike was the possibility that churches and other religious organizations would be sued or penalized if they refuse to perform same-gender marriages. The bill’s authors had included protections for religious institutions in the law, but opponents said they were insufficient. Debate over the religious exemptions became a major sticking point for the bill, prompting multiple meetings between the governor and leaders from both parties.

Exemptions for religious organizationsThe final bill included an amendment that expanded the exemptions to include religious-affiliated not-for-profits and their employees. It also barred the state and local governments from penalizing religious groups who decline to solemnize or host same-gender ceremonies. By chance, passage of the bill coincided with New York’s annual same-gender pride celebration, when hundreds of thousands of revelers mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots in June 1969. Many consider the riots, which were prompted by a police crackdown on a same-gender bar, the beginning of the national same-gender rights movement.

{AP/CBS News/ Newscenter}


  1. this is the beginning of the end just have updated passports for your family who knows what’s next we know hashem brings destruction in the world on account of this issue its a cause and effect when the govt has a document saying its legal its followed by destruction

  2. Oy! The lone Republican to vote for the bill, Saland, was honored by a frum mosad a few years ago. He is a descendant of Rav Yisroel Salanter zt”l.

  3. How did we allow a discriminatory bill to pass? Does this new equality legislation allow for incestual or polygamous marriages ??

  4. Cuomo is a big chutzpanik and oisvarf, the RBSO will give him his due in time. All those chanofim who have flattered Andy will be called to account as well.

    #5, not R. Yisroel Salanter, his last name was Lipkin. You mean someone else with the last name of Salant.

  5. Mark this date in history. When everything started to unravel. What a terrible tradgedy! May those who voted for the bill suffer terrible disgracefull, embarrising downfalls!

  6. Sad ending but do we really care? What exactly did we do to stop/stall this bill? How many calls, letter writing or demos?

  7. Did the law include the right for human marriage with other living creatures like animals.

    P.S. I have a feeling the geula is near, Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim where there was Toyevah, now it is time for Hashem to bring the final redemption. And redeem us from this Toyevah.

  8. BH! now hopefully we can stop worrying about this narishkeit, and instead worry about problems that actually face our community and that we can have an effect on

  9. perhaps this is a sign from Hashem that its time for everyone to move out of NY & MAKE ALIYA TO ERETZ YISROEL. showing hashem a sign that we YEARN-& don’t just daven- for the bais hamikdosh.

  10. As some posters already stated, this is dangerous, as ‘legalizing’ this is what brings the wrath of Hashem. This particular aveirah of writing marriage contracts for Toeivah is what brought about the great Flood (mabul).

  11. Oy vey! to #22: I read in a recent biography of Rav Avigdor Miller that he used to daven for Manhatten that Hashem should have rachmanus on the city due to all the tumah there, and a few months after he was niftar, 9/11 occurred.
    We are all affected as none of us live in a vacuum. Yes the tuma does penetrate and have an effect, and we chas v’sholom don’t want to incur the wrath of Hashem on the city. When puranus occurs, it is not good even for the Yidden.
    May Hashem protect us.

  12. I have a dog, Kellly. I love her so much! I can’t wait for the day that I can legaly marry her! Why can’t we have the same rights like any other couple?!

  13. Heather- a dog is not a consenting adult. That argument is so old already. When an animal can give consent to get married I’ll accept your argument.

  14. why does everyone think going to israel would help. They allow parades there too. Why is it better – allowing a parade means you acknowledge them

  15. what does that stupid governor think and all those stupid people think they’re doing? do they think that they’re in charge of the world?
    may hashem bring about their downfall right away!!!!!!

  16. The Birur between the Kedushah & the Tumaah before the Kaitz is in full swing.

    Like the Koach Hatumaah is gaining strength, let us l’umaas zeh, increase our Limud Hatorah, our shmiras haeinayim, and our Tefillah.

    If we want to be saved from the destruction that Friday’s legislation will inevitably wreak on America, we have no choice but to get off the fence, and tell H-ashem: We have no interest in what the Goyim and the Galus has to offer. We want only YOU and your Heilige Torah.

  17. this has NO EFFECT on the religious community. we could continue our marriages as normal. its not forcing us. it is simply giving the rights to other couples to get married. as americans and jews i don’t see why we care. outlawing same gender marriage creates a terrible precedent: discrimination against minority groups that most people dislike is okay. the jews could be next.
    take it from me. i’m a civil lawyer and well versed in this stuff. precedent always matters, for good or for bad. friday night was a great day for jews, not in the way you would imagine though.

  18. hey bitzy,
    how about siblings? should they be allowed to marry? The midrash says that one of the downfalls of the dor hamabul was kesubos between men and men, and men and animals.
    we are in trouble.

  19. every jew who who voted for Coumo and all the legislators who support this rishus(kal vechomer for those who endorsed them) should be looking for ways to michper their avaira. bederch hatevah we may never be able to fix this because we would have to end this evil gevarah first.

  20. #37 Wrong wrong. This will effect us in employment, in education, business dealings and it will encourage more coming out publicly, marrying and wanting their adopted children to attend our schools.

  21. Hate to break it to you Ron, however there is no discrimination by not allowing same gender marriage.
    A table cannot become a chair by simply “wanting” it to be a chair nor is it discrimination to state a table is not a chair.
    So to Historicaly and practically the bond of marriage is the term used to refer to the relationship that is formed by a committed man and woman. The relationship between two people of the opposite gender is a different relationship.
    This is inarguable since it happens to be that two males or two females are not the same as two people of the opposite gender.
    Henace it is not discrimination to state simply that we will not allow the term used to define one type of relationship be supplanted by another.