[JURIST] The New York State Assembly [official website] on Tuesday passed a bill [text; materials] that would allow same-sex marriages [JURIST news archive] to be performed in the state. The legislation, which was introduced last month [press release; JURIST report] by New York Governor David Paterson [official profile], passed by a vote of 89-52. The assembly passed a similar measure [JURIST report] in 2007, and five members who voted against that bill voted in favor [NYT report] of Tuesday's bill. Gay rights group the Empire State Pride Agenda [advocacy website] applauded [press release] Tuesday's vote, and called on the New York State Senate [official website] to pass the legislation as well. The bill now goes before the Senate, where its future is uncertain. The 2007 measure was defeated in the Senate. The proposed legislation is strongly opposed by conservative groups such as New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and the Alliance Defense Fund [advocacy websites], as well as the Conservative Party of New York State [party website], which has threatened to end support for any politician who votes for the bill.
If the Senate were to approve the bill, New York would become the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Last week, Maine became the fifth state to allow same-sex marriage [JURIST report] when Governor John Baldacci [official website] signed a same-sex marriage bill into law. Last month, Vermont became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through a vote of the legislature, joining Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa [JURIST reports] as the other states that allow same-sex marriage. A same-sex marriage bill is currently before the New Hampshire [JURIST report] governor.