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Gay pride parades were especially raucous this past weekend after New York’s historic vote that allows same-sex marriages beginning in late July in the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo attended the parade in New York City. He told the crowd that the vote in New York will be instrumental in other states. “I think you’re going to see this message resonate all across the country now. If New York can do it, it’s OK for every other place to do it,” Cuomo said to cheering applause.
“This is an immense win that brings giant momentum to the movement to end marriage discrimination in the U.S.,” said Evan Wolfson, president of national gay rights group Freedom to Marry. Many celebrities also cheered the decision. Neil Patrick Harris tweeted on Friday night right after the bill passed. “It PASSED! Marriage equality in NY!! Yes!! Progress!! Thank you everyone who worked so hard on this!! A historic night!!” Other celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Alec Baldwin, Russell Simmons, Alyssa Milano, and Kathy Griffin also tweeted their support.
But, not everyone was celebrating. Opponents said they would go on the attack against the four senate Republicans who supported gay marriage. Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, said New York’s move was a “disaster for the Republican Party,” and that his group planned to spend $2 million over the next 18 months to defeat the legislators who supported it. “It’s the wrong thing to do,” said Maggie Gallagher, Chairman and co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage. “But it’s also incredibly politically stupid for the Republican Party to take responsibility for passing the gay marriage bill in New York.”
Sen. Mark Grisanti, a Buffalo Republican who had been undecided voted for the bill. Grisanti said he could not deny anyone what he called basic rights. “I apologize to those I offend,” said Grisanti, a Roman Catholic. “But I believe you can be wiser today than yesterday. I believe this state needs to provide equal rights and protections for all its residents,” he said.
Governor Chris Christie from neighboring state New Jersey stated he was not a fan of gay marriage and would not sign a law like the New York law. Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann took it one step farther, stating she would support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who repeatedly spoke out against Same Sex Marriage before, did so again after Sunday Mass. “We don’t believe that marriage can be changed and radically altered to accommodate a particular lifestyle,” he said.