The topic of gay and lesbian marriage has been one that has seen Americans take very strong opposing stances. The two sides are nearly evenly split. As it was seen when the tally was reported for the controversial Proposition 8 in California a few years ago, the side against legalizing same sex marriage is slightly stronger than the side supporting legalization.
But the question of gay and lesbian marriage is one of civil rights. And as we all know, at the end of the day, civil rights and equality prospers over all. Whether it takes hundreds of years as it did with the abolishing of slavery and giving equal rights to African Americans or if it is a faster process for minority groups as a result of the fight that the African American community put up, civil rights are always eventually realized, even if it is only in the legal aspect.
In New York, the state assembly came together on Wednesday and agreed to pass a bill that would allow gay and lesbian couples to get married. It passed by a decisive vote of 80 to 63 in the state assembly that holds a Democratic majority.
As expected, the debate on the matter featured talk about religion, family aspects, and tradition. However, in the end the fact that marriage is a civil right rose above all.
The bill, which was introduced by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, is expected to be voted on by the New York state Senate on Friday. Currently, if one more Senator backs the bill, it will have the number of votes to pass and make same sex marriage legal in the state of New York.
The bill is officially known as the Marriage Equality Act.
The bill would also give gay and lesbian couples the same rights and benefits as all married couples currently hold in the state of New York.
As expected, few Republicans are in favor of the bill.
If the state Senate approves the Marriage Equality Act, New York will join Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Vermont as the only states where same sex marriage is legal. The District of Columbia also permits same sex marriages.
Whether some people would like to admit it or not, society is becoming more and more open-minded with every passing year. If it does not happen Friday, it is likely to happen in the next few years. Regardless of when it does happen, same sex marriage is on its way to universal acceptance.