By Imani Brammer

New York is wearing a new face of liberty.  On Friday, June 24, 2011 the Empire State became the sixth and largest state in the union to legalize gay marriage.  After a long battle, Governor Andrew Cuomo passed the vote 33-29.  As the leader of the campaign to legalize same sex marriage in his state, Cuomo was determined to get this law passed. For Cuomo, it was not solely about politics.  According to The New York Times, his girlfriend, Sandra Lee, has a gay brother.  So this issue hit very close to home.  “Same sex marriage is at the heart of leadership and progressive government,” said Cuomo. “I have to do this.”

Gay couples can now look towards a bright future.  Getting married is a stamp that symbolizes solidity, strength, and everlasting love.  No longer will the gay couples of New York feel a sense of legal doubt when it comes to the validity of their relationship.  “It makes you feel like we’re equal,” said 45-year-old Tim Ford.  He is now engaged to marry his companion of 18 years, Michael Beltran. “We can celebrate with friends in New York and not have it be, in some people’s eyes, not recognized,” said Ford.