ADL Applauds Passage of Marriage Equality Act in New York State

New York, NY, June 25, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed passage of the Marriage Equality Act in New York, calling it "a significant step forward" in the quest for equal rights and freedom from discrimination.

The bill will allow all New York citizens the freedom to marry and receive the protections and benefits that New York law affords married couples. These benefits can affect adoption rights, family leave, health insurance, tax deductions, civil actions related to spousal status, and emergency medical decision-making and hospital visitation.

Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director, issued the following statement:

We applaud lawmakers for taking a stand in support of equality by passing a law that gives same-sex couples the right to marry. Passage of this bill represents a significant step forward in the pursuit of individual liberty and freedom from discrimination for New Yorkers, and its impact will resonate far beyond state lines.

All citizens should be entitled to the same rights, protections and benefits, regardless of their sexual orientation. That includes the right for same-sex couples to marry.

At the same time, we are pleased that this decision leaves intact the right of religious communities to decide for themselves what relationships they will recognize.

The measure passed the New York State Senate by a vote of 33-29.