“This state, when it’s at its finest, is a beacon for social justice…”

Late Friday night, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage after lawmakers had voted 33-29 in favor of the proposal in an often emotionally-charged session of the state senate.

Gov Cuomo said afterwards: “This state, when it’s at its finest, is a beacon for social justice.” He went on: “Marriage equality – I said to the legislators, you look at the first word, but it’s really about the second.  It’s about our brothers and sisters saying to us, we want equality in society, equality in our relationships, equality in our love and equality in our families.”

Following the historic vote, which will make New York the fifth and largest state to permit gay and lesbian couples to marry, the law will go into effect in 30 days, doubling the population of the US which lives under marriage equality.

It was the first time a state legislature with a Republican majority had passed such a measure. Four Republicans joined with Democrats to pass the bill.

Passage of the legislation set off scenes of celebration outside the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, where the gay rights movement had begun more than 40 years ago. (Check out the NYT homepage slideshow.)

Images quickly circulated of The Empire State Building illuminated in rainbow colors, despite some incredulity that the images were actually taken tonight, since it was a pretty foggy evening in the city. Nicholas Jackson at The Atlantic writes “How did the Empire State Building ‘Go Rainbow’ so quickly?” and tweets: “Thank the Grateful Dead.”

Even Mayor Michael Bloomberg checked in to Marriage Equalitocalypse. His office, complete with rainbow avatar, called the passage “An historic triumph for equality and freedom.”

In a statement, Mayor Bloomberg said: “New York has always been a leader in movements to extend freedom and equality to people who had been denied full membership in the American family. By welcoming all people – no matter where they are from, what faith or philosophy they follow, or whom they love – New York became the strongest, most dynamic city in the world. And today, we are even stronger than we were yesterday.”

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* Follow news and reaction via MuckRack using these hashtags:

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The Atlantic Wire’s live-blog of the evening’s events is here, by Adam Clark Estes.

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*Wraps:

New York Says ‘I Do’ - by Julie Bolcer, Advocate.com

New York Legislature Passes Gay Marriage Bill – by Geraldine Baum, Los Angeles Times.

Stonewall Inn draws hundreds celebrating passage of New York gay marriage billNew York Daily News.

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*Analysis:

Why New York Matters - by Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast.

Not Exactly A Profile In Courage - by Nancy Goldstein, The Nation.

Did Obama “wimp out” on Gay Marriage? - by Emma Mustich, Salon

Rachel Maddow on Gay Marriage Passage: “President Obama is Against What Just Happened” - Huffington Post

Key Yes Vote for NY Gay Marriage: ‘I’m Not Just Catholic by Cathy Lynn Grossman, USAToday.

Catholic Church and Archbishop Dolan lose out badly in New York gay marriage defeat – by Patrick Roberts, Irish Central.

New York Gay Marriage Legalization Transformed National Debate: Legal Experts – by Jessica Dye, Reuters (via HuffPo).

Tara Siegel Bernard writes at the NYT’s Bucks Blog on “How Gay Marriage Will Change Couples’ Financial Lives.”

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Here’s what Hollywood is saying on Twitter, via the Hollywood Reporter.

Albert Brooks tweets: “New York passes gay marriage and women still can’t drive in Saudi Arabia. It’s a big world.”

Brian Stelter at the NYT tweets: “For the record, per TVEyes: NY same-sex marriage vote was covered for 60+ mins by MSNBC and CNN. It was covered for 2 mins by Fox News.” Simon Dumenco links to this post at Buzzfeed by Matt Stopera on Actual Headlines vs Fox headlines.           

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And, perhaps fittingly, this was recorded exactly 44 years ago today…

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