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The vote on the New York law took place after 10 p.m., before a packed gallery of supporters and opponents. Earlier in the week, the bill had easily passed the Assembly. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who had introduced the bill and intensely lobbied potential swing votes for its passage, appeared in the senate gallery a few minutes after the vote was taken, and has already signed the bill into law. The first gay marriages will take place on July 24, 2011.

This was a surprising turnaround for the New York legislature. A similar bill was passed by the New York Assembly in 2009, but it lost by 14 votes in a Democratic-controlled state senate. This time, although the New York senate is currently controlled by Republicans, the bill passed by a three-vote margin. All but one of the Democrats voted for the bill, along with four Republicans.