Two years after the New York State Senate strongly rejected gay marriage, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced passage of the Marriage Equality Act today by a margin of 33 to 29, granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry under the law. New York is the sixth and largest state to approve gay marriage, effectively doubling the number of Americans living in states with the freedom to marry.

Gay New York citizens can now enjoy hundreds of rights, benefits, and protections that have been limited to married couples of the opposite sex. Says Cuomo:

New York has finally torn down the barrier that has prevented same-sex couples from exercising the freedom to marry and from receiving the fundamental protections that so many couples and families take for granted. With the world watching, the Legislature, by a bipartisan vote, has said that all New Yorkers are equal under the law. With this vote, marriage equality will become a reality in our state, delivering long overdue fairness and legal security to thousands of New Yorkers.

I commend Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Minority Leader John Sampson for their leadership and Senator Tom Duane for his lifetime commitment to fighting for equality for all New Yorkers. I also thank Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell for ushering this measure through their chamber.

Check out moving footage of Cuomo's speech and Stonewall revelers.

Pride weekend just got sweeter. Party on!