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State Assembly Passes Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

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After hours of heated debate Tuesday, members of the state Assembly approved legislation to legalize same sex marriage in New York by a vote of 89-to-52.

The bill's fate, however, is uncertain in the Democratic-controlled Senate, where a number of lawmakers have said they are opposed.

Earlier in the day, there were some heated exchanges on the Assembly floor.

"I am seeking a piece of paper that is issued by my government that all of you have had. Some of you have had it two or three times, some of you are running for governor managed to marry their cousin and all that's ok. But I don't get one. So it's not about anybody's religion. This is about 'by the power vested in me by the State of New York'," said Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell.

"To say that gay marriage, a gay family is just as good as a heterosexual family is to deny a child a mother or a father, either one, depending on the relationship," said Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick.

Governor David Paterson re-introduced the highly-debated legislation last month.

A similar measure was passed in 2007, but it died in the State Senate.

Those NY1 spoke with in Lower Manhattan Tuesday morning were split on whether the legislation should be passed.

"They should have the benefits and everything else, but my personal feeling is I don't think it should be legal," said one New Yorker. "I'm not into the legal thing."

"I don't think there's any reason that they shouldn't be allowed to get married," countered another. "I think this is one of those things that we'll look back on and wonder how we hadn't passed this law sooner."

"I really have no opinion one way or another," said a third. "It doesn't bother me. I don't see why they can't be allowed to get what everyone else gets."

Five other states have legalized gay marriage in recent months.

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