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Cuomo Introduces Marriage Equality Bill

by Michael K. Lavers
National News Editor
Tuesday Jun 14, 2011
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday, June 14, introduced a bill that would allow same-sex couples to marry in the Empire State.

"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," said Cuomo in a press release. "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 bill’s introduction comes a day after state Sens. Carl Kruger, Shirley Huntley, Joseph Addabbo and James Alesi publicly declared their support for marriage for same-sex couples.

Gay state Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell on Twitter described the introduction of the bill as a "great movement forward."

"Today marks an historic moment in the fight for full equality," said New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

The marriage equality bill currently has 30 confirmed votes in the state Senate, but it needs 32 votes to pass. Cuomo had previously said he would not introduce a marriage equality measure until it had enough votes to pass.

The current legislative session is scheduled to end on June 20.

Based in Washington, D.C., Michael K. Lavers has appeared in the New York Times, BBC, WNYC, Huffington Post, Village Voice, Advocate and other mainstream and LGBT media outlets. He is an unapologetic political junkie who thoroughly enjoys living inside the Beltway.

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