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Eliot Spitzer that was the first in the country to advocate for marriage equality and to win on that premise." "We will push on and bring full marriage equality in New York State", Paterson said.
Following the elections, three dissenting Senate Democrats declined to assure Senate Democratic leader Malcolm Smith that they would vote for him as Senate Majority Leader when the Senate convened in January 2009.
In December 2008, an agreement was allegedly reached between Senator Smith and the so-called "Gang of Three"; reports indicated that as part of the deal, Senator Smith agreed not to bring same-sex marriage legislation to a floor vote in the Senate during the 2009–2010 legislative session.
However, on December 10, 2008, Senator Smith announced that the alleged agreement with three Democratic dissidents had been abandoned, and confirmed that he would not pledge to hold off on a same-sex marriage bill in the upcoming session.
Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in New York since July 24, 2011, under the Marriage Equality Act, which was passed by the New York State Legislature on June 24, 2011 and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on the same day.
Following the 2006 Court decision, the New York State Assembly passed same-sex marriage legislation in 2007, 2009, and 2011.
In the Republican-controlled Senate, 3 Democrats and two Republicans who had voted against the 2009 bill indicated their support for legalizing same-sex marriage.
The Senate passed the bill on June 24 by a 33–29 vote with 29 Democrats and four Republicans voting in favor.
After reaching an agreement with three Democratic dissidents, Malcolm Smith was voted Senate Majority Leader on January 7, 2009.
Peterson declared that she would recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.
Two days later, then-Attorney General of New York Eliot Spitzer, a supporter of same-sex marriage, issued an "informal opinion" stating that municipal clerks should not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples since the New York State Legislature had not intended for the Domestic Relations Law to cover same-sex couples.
The Gotham Gazette reported that the Senate rules were changed by the Democratic conference to prevent Democrat Ruben Diaz, Sr., an opponent of same-sex marriage, from moving to lay the bill aside for debate; the rules were changed again during the vote to ensure it would conclude in time to make the 11 pm EDT newscasts.
The bill's passage was celebrated by gay rights supporters both in New York and nationwide.