ALBANY, N.Y., June 24 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)