Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New York: Assembly OKs gay marriage
Cara Matthews
Albany bureau

(June 20, 2007) — ALBANY — The state Assembly approved gay-marriage legislation Tuesday by a vote of 85-61, largely a symbolic action this year to demonstrate increasing support for the measure because it has no chance of passing the Senate.

Assembly members cited personal experiences, religious beliefs, societal norms, polls, constitutional rights, the Bible and other factors to explain their votes on the bill, which would give same-sex couples the same legal status, benefits and protections heterosexual couples have. The legislation would not require members of the clergy to perform same-sex marriages.

The bill's lead sponsor in the Democrat-led Assembly, Daniel O'Donnell, D-Manhattan, said the bill has nothing to do with religion, which a number of lawmakers said was their reason for opposing it. The brother of celebrity Rosie O'Donnell, he is gay and has had a partner for 26 years.
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