New York Gay Marriage: State Assembly Approves Same-Sex Marriage Bill

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The New York state Assembly approved same-sex marriage on Wednesday and the bill is likely to face a vote in the Senate on Friday, where it only needs support from one more senator to pass.

The Democrat-dominated Assembly voted 80 to 63 in favor of the marriage equality bill introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat in his first year in office.

The state-by-state battle over gay marriage has become one of the most contentious U.S. social issues ahead of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.

“Only second-class states have second-class citizens,” said Assemblyman Charles Lavine, a Democrat who voted in favor of legalizing gay marriage.

Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage, and several other states allow civil unions. The first legal same-sex marriages in the United States took place in Massachusetts in 2004.

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