After months of delays, the New York State Senate finally voted on a piece of legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage. Last Wednesday, lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected the bill by a margin of 32 votes against and 24 in favor.
The Democrats, who hold a one-seat majority in the Senate, needed GOP support to pass the bill, but not a single Republican state senator voted for the measure, the New York Times reports.
"This is an enormous victory," said Maggie Gallagher, the leader of the National Organization for Marriage, which mobilizes the fight against same-sex marriage. "What you saw was the will of the people. … The culture really hasn’t shifted on gay marriage," she added, as quoted by Reuters.
After the vote, supporters of the proposed bill were somber, yet remained optimistic.
"We will not accept defeat and we will not stop fighting until all New Yorkers are treated equally," declared council speaker Christine Quinn, who is gay.
Before the debate, Democratic Senator Ruben Diaz stated that in all 31 states where same-sex marriage was put to a vote, it was rejected by the people. He proposed that the Senate should let New Yorkers decide the fate of gay marriage rather than leaving it in the hands of lawmakers, according to LifeSiteNews.com.
Meanwhile, Richard Socarides, who was former President Bill Clinton’s senior adviser on gay rights issues, called New York the "biggest prize" in the debate over the legalization of gay marriage. He referred to the state as a "bellwether" for the entire country on account of its importance as a financial, cultural and artistic center of the nation, the Associated Press reports.