(photo credit: MCT)
ALBANY, N.Y. - New York will become the sixth and most populous US state to allow gay marriage after senators voted 33-29 on Friday night to approve the move.
RELATED:Group empowers gay teens to become future leadersThousands march in Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade
After Governor Andrew Cuomo signs the bill into law, same-sex weddings can begin in 30 days, though religious institutions and nonprofit groups with religious affiliations will not be compelled to officiate at such ceremonies.
The New York state Assembly passed the amended bill earlier on Friday by a vote of 82-47.
The state-by-state battle over gay marriage has become a contentious US
social issue ahead of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.