In reversal of fortune for gay-rights advocates, the Republican-controlled New York state Senate passed legislation Friday night to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, according to the New York Times, making New York the largest state yet to do so.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law shortly after the Senate vote. The new law will take effect in 30 days.
The vote came just two years after a Democratic-controlled Senate rejected similar legislation, making passage of the bill Friday night in the now Republican-controlled Senate unlikely. Given the importance of the new law to both gay-marriage advocates and opponents, it will also likely raise the issue of gay marriage in the 2012 campaign.