Same-sex marriage became legal in New York last week after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the controversial marriage equality bill into law, following a narrow vote in the state legislature. Gay couples celebrated the decision with a massive pride parade, while conservatives rebuked the several Republicans who supported the bill, lamenting the new offense to traditional conceptions of marriage. New York succeeded Vermont, Connecticut and New Hampshire in approving gay marriage through a vote in the state legislature, rather than in the courts. Though the Empire State is the sixth to allow gay marriage, it’s also the third most populous state in the nation, and is widely regarded as the birthplace of the gay and lesbian rights movement. But does the recent legalization there suggest an evolution in public opinion, or was the timing and place for such an issue just right? As gay couples move from New York to other states, similar movements for equal marriage may crop up, but will they have any success? And will California make progress toward allowing same-sex marriage when Prop. 8 goes before the US Supreme Court?
Brian Brown, president, National Organization for Marriage
Michael Cole-Schwartz, communications director, Human Rights Campaign
Bill Rosendahl, Los Angeles City Councilman, 11th district