Shortly before 10 pm on June 24, 2011, with the passage of a crucial amendment by a vote of 36 to 26, it became clear that a majority of the New York State Senate was going to approve same-sex marriage. The final tally for the bill itself was 33 to 29.
The bill had already passed in the heavily Democratic state Assembly by a lopsided vote of 82-47, but it still faced one final obstacle in the Senate. That was removed when lawmakers agreed to allow religious organizations to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages.
Earlier on Friday, the bill was known to have 31 votes in favor, one short of a majority. When Republican Stephen Saland, who voted against a similar bill two years ago, told the Associated Press that he intended to vote in favor this time, passage of the measure was assured.
Following the Senate vote, a second vote was taken in the Assembly on the amended bill, and that passed 80 to 63. Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised to sign it, and same-sex marriages will begin 30 days after that.
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