Today, Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell led the Marriage Equality Act to passage in the New York State Assembly for the fourth time since 2007. The bill, A.8354, was submitted by Governor Andrew Cuomo and will enshrine in New York State law the ability of same-sex couples to marry, as well as extend the associated rights, responsibilities, and protections of marriage to all same-sex married couples.
Following the landmark vote, Assembly Member O’Donnell stated,
This is an immense step toward achieving true equality for all here in New York. I am very proud that under Speaker Silver’s strong leadership and with his unwavering support, we in the Assembly have powerfully voiced our deep-seated belief in equality and rejected legalized discrimination yet again. Since we first passed Marriage Equality four years ago, the need for this law has only grown, with same-sex couples in New York facing daily discrimination from our state. This must end.
This issue remains profoundly important to me; it is not just a professional goal, but a personal mission. My partner John and I have been together for over 30 years, and we have awaited the ability to marry in our home state for many of them. Today, for the fourth time, the Assembly declared that now is the time.
Assembly Member O’Donnell collected a record number of sponsors for the bill, with a total of 68 sponsors signing on before the final vote was taken. The Assembly will now send the Marriage Equality Act to the State Senate for consideration.
Assembly Member O’Donnell has been on the forefront of the issue of Marriage Equality in New York since being a plaintiff in the same-sex marriage lawsuit that was decided by the Court of Appeals in 2007.