Gay marriage bill advances in New York legislature

June 16, 2011 05:54

ALBANY - The New York state Assembly approved a bill allowing same-sex marriage on Wednesday and the measure is likely to face a vote in the Senate on Friday, where it only needs support from one more senator to pass.

The Democratic-dominated Assembly voted 80 to 63 in favor of the marriage equality bill introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat in his first year in office.

The state-by-state battle over gay marriage has become one of the most contentious U.S. social issues ahead of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.

"Only second-class states have second-class citizens," said Assemblyman Charles Lavine, a Democrat who voted in favor of legalizing gay marriage.

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