One-Year Anniversary of NY Marriage Equality Law

June 24, 2012
On June 24, 2011, New York State became the sixth, and largest, state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. The state Assembly overwhelmingly passed the Marriage Equality Act by an 82-47 vote, and the state Senate voted 33-29 in support of the legislation. The Reform Movement’s support of marriage equality has long been guided by the biblical principle of B’tzelem Elohim, the idea that we are all created in the image of God.  Many religious organizations across denominations took part in the passionate debate and discussion in New York, and continue to do so across the nation. Reform Jewish Voice of New York State spent countless hours urging congregants, clergy and legislators to legalize the basic human right of all people to commit themselves wholly to the person they love.

Marriage equality supporters in New York. Photo credit: Andrew Kelly/Reuters.

The Marriage Equality Act went into effect 30 days after Gov. Cuomo signed the legislation. On July 24, 2011 at midnight, hundreds of same-sex couples celebrated their joy by being legally joined in marriage across New York, from Niagara Falls to Manhattan. In New York City, 823 couples registered to obtain licenses, and in Albany, Mayor Jerry Jennings began performing weddings at 12:01 am. It was estimated that approximately 1,200 couples received marriage licenses that day. The Reform Movement remains committed to protecting the right of all people to marry and is working against state referenda in Maryland and Washington meant to overturn legislative action granting marriage equality. Reform Jewish Voice continues to advocate in the state legislature for the protection of basic human rights, such as access to food and a clean environment, for all New Yorkers. Photo courtesy of

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