Councilmember Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, LeFrak City, Corona, Rego Park, and Woodside) was joined by his colleague in the council, Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Woodside, Sunnyside, Long Island City, Astoria, and Maspeth), Van Bramer’s partner, Daniel Hendrick, state Senator José Peralta (D-13th state senate district) and Rabbi Laura Cohen on Saturday, June 25 in celebrating the passage of the Marriage Equality Act. The measure passed the state Assembly by a vote of 80 in favor, 63 opposed on Wednesday, June 15 and on Friday, June 24, following prolonged and sometimes bitter debate, the state senate passed the bill by a 33-to-29 vote. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marriage Equality Act into law at 11:55 p.m. that same day; it will go into effect in 30 days.
Passage of the bill made New York the sixth and largest state to date to sanction same-sex marriage. The states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa, as well as Washington, D.C., also legally recognize same-sex marriage. Cuomo produced a long-awaited proposal requiring the same legal rights for same-sex couples who marry as those extended to heterosexual couples in New York on June 14. He termed Marriage Equality “a matter of fairness and legal security for thousands of families in this state—not of religion or culture”.
“I have always believed that in order to bring about real change, one must affect the political structure,” Dromm said after the bill was enacted Friday night. “The fight for marriage equality has been long and hard but tonight, thanks to grassroots community activism and the legion of groups that worked together as a united front to demand from their government justice and fairness, we have inched closer as a society to fulfilling America’s promise of equality. As an openly gay elected official and longtime gay rights activist, I am ecstatic about tonight’s vote to legalize same-sex marriage in the state of New York. It is truly a historic moment for our LGBT community and one that marks a momentous civil rights victory. I’d like to thank the elected officials that stood on the right side of history and finally realized that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are also their family, friends and neighbors”.