One Year of Marriage Equality in New York

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Tomorrow, on Tuesday, 24th July 2012, New York will celebrate a year of marriage equality – the first anniversary of the city’s legalization of gay marriage. New York is the sixth state in the US to (finally!) give gay couples the right to wed legally. A record 659 couples tied the knot on this day last year, and many felt that the legalization of gay marriage has not had such an influence on citizens, ever since Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. The legalization of gay marriage in New York was incredible, and I remember seeing tweets on my twitter timeline of the Empire State Building lighting up in colors of the homosexual flag, as well as tweets that reflected a general sense of happiness all through my friends.

Many held beliefs that the new law, when enacted in New York, as the largest and one of the most influential states/cities in America and the world, would be imperative to spark national support towards gay rights, as well as change the attitude of denizens toward marriage equality. However, due to a ruling by which same-sex couples do not have to identify their gender, it is rather difficult to judge the true extent and effect of last year’s legislation. Furthermore, according to wedding planners, business is not exactly booming, but perhaps as all couples wanted was the legal paperwork, rather than hours of ceremony, speeches and a massive buffet spread.

Despite that, however, I believe that the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York was effective in changing the attitudes and mindsets of people, who began to give such issues greater thought. As one of the New Yorkers on a Human Rights Campaign video said, “if you love someone, you should be able to marry him or her, no questions asked.” Truth be told, my friends and I were incredibly happy when the law was passed, because though New York is half a world away, the passing of this law spoke volumes about a changing paradigm, as well as the evolving attitudes. It means so much to us, when most of the world is still living in societies that ban, and even criminalize same-sex / gay marriage. Indeed, “it is time for equality, and it is time for it now.” Congratulations, New York.

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