“The number of Americans living in states covered by same-sex marriage laws has more than doubled after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that gave gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. Cuomo signed the measure after it passed a Republican-controlled Senate on Friday night [June 24, 2011], raising questions as to whether the move reflects new momentum in the gay rights movement.
Cuomo said the law will grant same-sex couples equal rights to marry ‘as well as hundreds of rights, benefits and protections that are currently limited to married couples of the opposite sex.’ A few of those are the right of inheritance, employer health benefits and a host of state tax benefits. That will not include Social Security benefits through a spouse, because that is a federal benefit.
The controversial law passed by a narrow 33-to-29 vote – a first for a GOP-led state Senate – making New York the sixth state in the union to legalize same-sex marriage.”