The New York Civil Liberties Union tonight applauded the State Assembly for taking an important step toward making marriage for lesbian and gay New Yorkers legal in New York State by passing the marriage bill 80 to 63, and called on the State Senate to quickly pass the same bill.

“The State Assembly has joined Governor Cuomo and stood up for fairness, equality, family and love,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said. “Now it’s time for the State Senate to get on the right side of history and pass the marriage bill.”

Out-of-state marriages between lesbian and gay New Yorkers are already recognized in the New York. In 2008, the NYCLU achieved a landmark legal victory when a state appellate court unanimously ruled in Martinez v. County of Monroe that New York State must recognize the valid out-of-state marriages of lesbian and gay couples. Following that victory, all of New York’s state agencies revised their policies to recognize marriages of same-sex couples performed in other jurisdictions. Since then, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa and Washington, D.C. have legalized marriage for lesbian and gay couples.

Voters also support fair marriage laws. A recent Siena College poll found that 58 percent of New Yorkers support the marriage bill, and that the support extends through every region of the state.

“Momentum is clearly on our side,” Lieberman said. “New Yorkers should not have to cross state lines to protect their families. It’s time for the Senate to follow the Assembly’s lead and do the right thing and stand up for all of New York’s families.”