New York state lawmakers approve gay marriage

In historic 33-29 vote, US senators make New York the sixth state to allow marriage between two members of the same sex.

311_gay couples (photo credit: MCT)
311_gay couples
(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.
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.
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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.