The New York State Senate just passed a bill legalizing gay marriage, 33-29. It now heads to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk for his promised signature. The bystanders in Albany are going nuts. Go celebrate!
The two pivotal yes votes were those of Republican Sens. Steve Saland and Mark Grisanti, who announced (or alluded to) their plans in closely watched Senate speeches. Top opponent Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., meanwhile, ranted angrily about how this will destroy the world. During debate recesses, the Senate livestream played an extraordinary selection of muzak. You can view the soundtrack here.
[Watch the clip below to see the roll call of the final vote and cheers from the gallery.]
[There was a video here]
The fate of the bill wasn't clear until Saland and Grisanti's last minute speeches. There were a total of four Republicans who voted for the bill, while no Republicans voted for the 2009 marriage bill that went down in flames.
New York is now the largest state with gay marriage, barring whatever happens with the legal battle in California. This doubles the number of gay people eligible for marriage in the country, and licenses could be handed out in as soon as 30 days.