New York state lawmakers approves gay marriage

ALBANY, N.Y., June 24 Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:36am BST

ALBANY, N.Y., June 24 (Reuters) - New York will become the sixth and most populous U.S. state to allow gay marriage after senators voted 33-29 on Friday night to approve the move.

After Governor Andrew Cuomo signs the bill into law, same-sex weddings can begin in 30 days, though religious institutions and nonprofit groups with religious affiliations will not be compelled to officiate at such ceremonies.

The New York state Assembly passed the amended bill earlier on Friday by a vote of 82-47.

The state-by-state battle over gay marriage has become a contentious U.S. social issue ahead of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections. (Reporting by Dan Wiessner, writing by Michelle Nichols; editing by Anthony Boadle)

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