Statement in Support:There's lots more.
The "freedom to marry" is, in the words of the United States Supreme Court, "one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free [people]." In New York, however, certain couples who seek to exercise this freedom, and partake of its rights and responsibilities by mutual consent, may not do so solely because they are of the same sex. The bar against same-sex marriages exists regardless of how long the individuals have lived together, or whether they are raising children through legally-recognized joint custody arrangements. This bill removes the barriers in New York law that deprive individuals of the equal right to marry the person of their choice, by granting the same legal recognition to all civil marriages regardless of whether those who enter into them are of the same, or of a different, sex.