Same-sex marriage is now legal in New York after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that was narrowly passed by state lawmakers June 24, handing activists a breakthrough victory in the state where the Stonewall riots began the modern gay rights movement.
New York, the third most populous state, joins Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the Washington capital district in allowing same-sex couples to wed.
New York has no residency requirement for obtaining a marriage license, and same-sex couples can begin marrying July 25.
The bill’s success after a previous defeat reflected the powerful support of Cuomo and perhaps a change in public attitudes. Opinion polls for the first time are showing majority support for same-sex marriage, and Congress recently repealed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that barred gays from serving openly in the military.