After weeks of deadlock, the New York Senate passed an historic marriage equality bill late tonight by a 33-29 vote. Thirty-two votes were needed for passage.
New York joins Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the District of Columbia in allowing same-sex couples to marry. New York also becomes the most populous state granting such rights.
The late-night vote on Pride weekend also gives "the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born," reported the New York Times.
The New York Senate also becomes the first Republican-controlled legislative body in the nation to pass such a bill. Twenty-nine of 30 Democrats supported the bill. Four Republicans voted "yes."
The marriage equality bill was introduced by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on June 14th. The next day, the Democratic-led Assembly passed the marriage bill for the fourth time in as many years. Several religious protection amendments were added earlier today, requiring the approval of both chambers.
UPDATE: Cuomo signed the bill late Friday night. Marriage equality will become the law in 30 days.
Bravo New York. Next up: California and Maryland!