Same-sex Marriage bill is something to celebrate

The Millerton News Editorial

Well done, New York. In what was a monumental moment for the Empire State, gay marriage was finally approved by the Senate and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday, June 24 — legalizing what truly should always have been recognized as a fundamental right between two consenting adults.

But it hasn’t been an easy road, and credit must be given to lawmakers for stepping up to the plate and voting 33 to 29 on what was clearly a controversial decision. That controversy, however, was misplaced. Why there was ever a question about the right for two grown men or women to vow their allegiance and love to one another — whether through a church, temple, justice of the peace or other entity — remains a mystery. Gays and lesbians always deserved the same rights as others, in marriage, and now, as society moves forward, in other domains as well.

Ideally, New York’s ground-breaking decision will influence other states to follow suit. The new law shouldn’t simply be heralded for being innovative, however. It should be noted for its fairness, its decency and its answer to justice, but also, truly, for being long overdue. As we all know, though, most things are better late than never. Such is the case here.

It’s not just other states in the union we hope are swayed by this important ruling — hopefully individuals will be able to open their minds to the basic rightness of same-sex marriage.

Ask yourself, who is the government to stand in the way of two people — regardless of sexual orientation — deciding they want to celebrate and document their love and commitment to one another? Would one agree with the state preventing a boy named Harry from marrying a girl named Sue? Of course not. So why would anyone think it OK for the state to prevent a boy named Harry from marrying a boy named Joe? The concept is absurd. It is also based on bias, prejudice and discrimination — in other words, it’s un-American.

New York now legally sanctions gay marriages (the Marriage Equality Act will go into effect by next month). It’s about time. Congratulations to all whom this law will now affect.