The legalization of same-sex marriage remains a milestone among Gov. Andrew Cuomo's achievements and an enduring example of his ability to capitalize on his political power.
After a landmark vote in the state legislature, Cuomo signed the Marriage Equality Act into law in 2011. It made New York the sixth and largest state to legalize same-sex marriage.
"This is a matter of fairness and equality. It is not a question of religion and culture, but a question of legal rights and government policy," Cuomo said in 2011.
The passage of the same-sex marriage bill was one of Cuomo's first major legislative accomplishments after taking office. He worked with LGBTQ advocates to build support for the measure and then lobbied four Republican state senators to join with all but one Democratic senator in approving the bill.
Similar legislation was defeated in Albany two years before the passage.
Three of the four Republicans who supported the measure would pay a political price. Only one was able to win reelection.
In 2015, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. It was a decision advocates say was made easier after New York helped to pave the way, recognizing Cuomo’s role in securing a right for countless couples.