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Stonewall Crowd Cheers As Marriage Equality Becomes Reality

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A Manhattan bar that is considered to be the birthplace of the gay rights movement was packed Friday as members of the city's LGBT community watched state lawmakers approve the same-sex marriage bill. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.

Crowds in gay bars exploded with emotion Friday night as lawmakers in Albany passed the same-sex marriage bill.

"We've been together for 20 years. We're finally going to get married," said one gay New Yorker.

Same-sex couples beamed with extra pride on this gay pride weekend inside and outside the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan's West Village.

"This is a historical moment. I had to bring my beautiful niece here, to be here because I'm her uncle and I'm gay and my partner is home, Joseph, I love you baby. And this is a great event in celebration of everyone, and young people. Like I said, it gets better, it gets better, and it has," said one gay New Yorker.

Forty-two years ago police raided the Stonewall Inn and the gay community rioted, starting the modern civil rights movement for the homosexual community.

"Sixteen years in May and we're already setting the date. New York did the right thing," said one gay New Yorker.

Many say they will enjoy the state rights that come with nuptials like being able to visit a spouse in the hospital and sharing benefits.

Some are now looking to the U.S. Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act so the federal government will recognize their unions and they can get federal benefits.

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