I was absolutely elated to hear that same-sex couples will now be able to get married in the great state of New York as of this past Friday, June 24, 2011. Even though I am now a Californian, New York will always be one of my homes away from home, and while Cali still fights to get this right back, it is heartening to see more states taking this next step forward in the attempt to protect equal rights for all.
And yet, there are still so many opponents, homophobes and haters out there who continue to come out of the woodwork to have their hate speech heard. While it is to be somewhat expected that members of the religious right would be the most outspoken when it comes to gay marriage, the hypocrisy of it all continues to boggle my mind. These are the same people who are preaching love thy neighbor before turning around and qualifying that statement with, “Oh, well, we didn’t mean YOU.”
These are also the same people who are found time and again preaching hate about the way of homosexuality before being discovered performing homosexual acts with strangers in public restrooms.
Fortunately, the celebrations are being heard louder than the criticism for New York at this point, with couples beginning to plan weddings in the Big Apple and around the state.
“New York sends the message that marriage equality across the country is a question of ‘when,’ not ‘if,'” Vice President Fred Sainz of the Human Rights Campaign said on Friday.
It’s also likely that New York’s approval will give a boost to other states fighting for marriage for the LGBT community. At present, 44 out of 50 of the United States do not allow gay couples to marry, with 30 of those 44 taking steps to ban gay marriage in constitutional amendments. Bills for same-sex marriage legalization failed in Maryland and Rhode Island this year as well.
The good news is, the states of Illinois, Hawaii and Delware have added civil unions to their state statutes, joining California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. New York’s decision may make the next attempt to legalize same-sex marriage in these states that much easier.
New York’s same-sex marriage law will go into effect 30 days after the signing of the bill, on July 24, 2011.
For all those new gay married couples to-be, here are some great tips on writing your own vows from The Broke-Ass Bride and Mahalo.com:
For all those more practical soon-to-be same-sex married couples, here are some tips on how to file taxes from Mahalo.com: