Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision supporting same-sex marriage comes four years after New York took that step on a state level. State leaders reacted to the decision with enthusiasm.
Governor Cuomo, who arm-twisted state Senators to win the same sex marriage vote in 2011, said in a statement that the court “is on the right side of history”. He says the lights on the World Trade center tower will be lit in rainbow colors Sunday night. As part of the end of session deal, the governor now has the power to perform marriage ceremonies; he says he sought the authority because some same sex couples have asked him to officiate at their weddings.
“Some of these marriages are very meaningful to me personally,” Cuomo said. “I’d like the opportunity to officiate.”
New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio, who already has the power to marry people, announced that he would officiate at two same-sex unions at City Hall Friday afternoon in celebration of the decision.
Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, the first openly gay state legislator, said she is “elated”. The only openly gay State Senator Brad Hoylman said, “As a gay husband and father, I’m extremely proud to be an American today.”
The state’s conservative party called the court’s decision “misguided”, and compared it to the Dred Scott and Roe v Wade decisions. Those court orders upheld slavery and legalized abortion.
However, in a statement U.S. Representative Richard Hanna praised the move. The New York Republican called it a question of tolerance and personal freedom. “While it is often difficult, democracy … is not simply what we demand for ourselves but how and what we defend for others,” he said.