History was made in New York this past Friday when our great state passed the Marriage Equality Act giving civil marriage rights to all couples. New York became the 6th state to allow both mixed-sex and same-sex couples the right to marry. Same-sex marriage is currently allowed in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. Maryland, New York and Rhode Island recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
While we were not the first state, New York is the largest state to legalize same-sex marriage and it also the first state in which a Republican-led State Senate passed such a measure. Our own State Senator, Sen. Steve Saland (R-Poughkeepsie), provided a key vote on the measure and joined three of his fellow Republican senators in voting for marriage equality. Senator Saland spoke on the senate floor Friday night and shared his thoughts on how and why he came to the decision to vote for marriage equality. You can read his speech now on the PoughkeepsieJournal.com by clicking here.