On June 24, 2011, the legislature passed, and the governor signed into law, the Marriage Equality Act (DRL § 10-a, effective July 24, 2011).
The operative language is as follows:
A MARRIAGE THAT IS OTHERWISE VALID SHALL BE VALID REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE PARTIES TO THE MARRIAGE ARE OF THE SAME OR DIFFERENT SEX.
The Act also includes extensive language to protect religious organizations and non-profits from any negative repercussions for failure or refusal to solemnize a marriage (between persons of the same or opposite sex).
Remember, before one gets married, it’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney about the possibility of a prenuptial agreement. Nobody goes into a marriage (with a partner of the same or opposite sex) thinking that it is ever going to end in divorce, but it does happen! A LOT! Having a prenuptial agreement signed before the marriage can save quite a bit of fighting at the unanticipated end of the marriage. And the divorce laws in New York are the same regardless of what sex the parties to the marriage are.
So, to all you people who are ready for a same sex marriage on or after July 24, 2011, WELCOME TO THE MARRIAGE CLUB! Enjoy the rest of your life with your chosen partner! And if the time comes when the bonds that God has created and no man should put aside need to be put aside, I’d be happy to provide you with my legal advice!