The path towards same-sex marriage (SSM) in New York state took over seven years. It started in early 2004 when same-sex couples unsuccessfully tried to obtain marriage licenses. Two years later, 44
couples petitioned New York Court of Appeals asking for the right to marry. The court ruled that they had no constitutional right to marry. However, the court also ruled that the legislature could create that right if it wished.
This was the beginning of many attempts to legalize SSM in the state. The first three failed to pass in the Senate. However, in 2008, the Court of Appeals ruled that same-sex couples who legally married outside of the state should have their marriages recognized when they returned to New York. This created specialist marriage businesses in Toronto, ON Canada which shares a long border with New York.
The tipping point arrived on election day in 2010-NOV with the election of Governor Andrew Cuomo (D). He had been a very strong supporter of SSM. He was helped by numerous public opinion polls which showed that most New York adults were in favor of SSM. A 2011-APR poll showed that 58% of New York state adults favored SSM while only 36% were opposed -- a margin of 22 percentage points. During 2011-JUN, a SSM bill passed the House. On JUN-24, with the help of three Republicans, the Senate passed the bill.
Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law on the evening of 2011-JUN-24. It came into effect on JUL-24. New York state joined with six other states and the District of Columbia to established marriage equality within their jurisdictions. Because of the large population and influence of New York State, approval of SSM in the state is expected to give a major boost to the drive for LGBT equality nationally.
During 2012-JUN, Senator David Storobin (R) introduced a bill to repeal the marriage equality law. It did not progress.