National impact expected from New York gay marriage law: experts

By Reuters Staff
June 26, 2011

(A rainbow flag symbolizing gay pride hangs from the awning of a store in New York June 22, 2011/Shannon Stapleton)

When New York became the sixth and by far the largest state to legalize same-sex marriage, following a grueling overtime session in the state legislature, it immediately transformed the national debate over the issue, legal experts said.

With a population over 19 million — more than the combined population of the five states that currently allow gay marriage, plus the District of Columbia, where it is also legal — New York is poised to provide the most complete picture yet of the legal, social and economic consequences of gay marriage.

“I think that having same-sex marriage in New York will have tremendous moral and political force for the rest of the country — in part because New York is a large state, and in part because it hasn’t come easily,” said Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School.

The New York Assembly passed same-sex marriage legislation twice before, in 2007 and 2009, but in both cases it stalled in the state Senate, as it nearly did again this week. The bill passed late on Friday after legislators agreed on language allowing religious organizations to refuse to perform services or lend space for same-sex weddings.

The new law’s impact can be measured in part by the numbers at play: New York is home to more than 42,000 same-sex couples, according to an analysis of U.S. census data conducted by the Williams Institute. This means, among other things, that the number of same-sex couples living in states allowing same-sex marriage has more than doubled overnight.

Read the full story by Jessica Dye here.

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4 comments

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Thank God – this is historic – even more historic than when my state failed to do this. The huge influx of immigrants and blacks have helped to pass the very unconstitutional Proposition 8 (outlawing gay marriage) but that should be wiped off the books soon and THEN we can go on to join the rest of the progressive states who allow gay marriage. I’d hoped my partner, who died in 1994 might live to see this but sadly it came too late. But let’s learn from this California – before you so freely allow the entry of so many immigrants make sure you understand the impact these people will have on your civil/human rights as an American. It sounds good to encourage the world to “give us your poor……” but you’ll get a lot more than “poor, tired people” – consider Prop. 8!!

Posted by Stephen1949 | Report as abusive

and the threats made by the Catholic church and its’ favorite whore, the National Organization for Marriage, ultimately fell on deafened ears! There will be no Catholic Constitution in New York, nor Jewish nor Islamic. Deepest regards to the brave Senators who honored their oath to protect and defend the Constitution!!!!

Posted by wrpa | Report as abusive

Congratulations New York! Hopefully other states will follow suit

Posted by Scott-K | Report as abusive

@Stephen1949,

Please don’t be ignorant and patronizing.

This may come as a shock to “progressive” circles in America, but all those “backwards” and “ethnic” immigrants actually couldn’t care less about same-sex marriage.

The vast majority of immigrants don’t give a damn about same-sex marriage -neither for nor against. Many may have an opinion on the matter, but the vast majority never vote on this issue (IF they even have the legal ability to vote), because it doesn’t affect them.

Of the Latinos in California that *did* vote (the vast majority of whom are American-born, not naturalized immigrants), their voting patterns on California’s prop 8 was equally divided.

If you’re looking for someone to blame for the fact that gay Americans cannot marry in California and most of the US, then look at your own nationality: native-born Americans are far more likely to vote based on social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Immigrants (like my parents) just don’t care about social issues (and my parents, BTW, are loyal Democrats, as are MOST IMMIGRANTS).

It was the African-American and WASP-Evangelical demographics that were most in favor or Proposition 8 to ban same-sex marriage, and the Prop 8 campaign received a massive amount of campaign money from native-born red-state WASP Americans through the Mormon Church.

So please stop scapegoating those “backwards” immigrants. They’re not as backwards as you think, and they don’t fall for the “God bless…” “I pray to God” “faith in God” rhetoric that AMERICAN politicians constantly spew.

Posted by skye_egg | Report as abusive