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Euphoric LGBT Crowds Celebrate New York Marriage Bill

The mood was euphoric in New York last night. After hearing that the gay marriage bill passed, hundrends of LGBT crowds celebrated at the Stonewall Inn in the West Village, where the gay-rights movement began more than 40 years ago.

The New York Times reports:

Supporters of the same-sex marriage bill danced in the streets of the West Village after the State Senate approved it on Friday night.

Crowds gathered, screamed and embraced in Sheridan Square near the Stonewall Inn, where the gay-rights movement began more than 40 years ago. Many stood on park benches to get a better view. Gay and lesbian bars in the neighborhood were packed with patrons, and the neighborhood had the feel of jubilant celebration.

?Equality is what this means; this is our right as people,? said John Huls, 52, standing in the Stonewall with his partner, Jay Hoff, 50. ?It?ll be our same relationship. We?re the same people as when we met, except now it?s proper in the eyes of the state, and I?ll be able to look at people and say, ?This is my husband.? ?

NY Daily News adds:

Hundreds had gathered with her at the LGBT lodestone in Greenwich Village, waiting and hoping and praying – some in drag – that their officials in the state Senate would grant them the long-sought-after equality.

They held Technicolor banners, chanted slogans as loudly as their lungs would allow and sang, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

And then news of the vote reached them with all the heraldry of a score of trumpets unleashing a thunderous bellow.

Someone yelled out, “I do!” and the crowd erupted in joyful exclamation and childlike exuberance. They had waited so long and so patiently for the news that it was as if a dam had buckled and all their pentup frustration came cascading forth in a fusillade of howls and high-fives.

The Associated Press also cover the story:

Champagne corks popped, rainbow flags flapped and crowds embraced and danced in the streets of Manhattan’s Greenwich Village as New York became the sixth and largest state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill shortly before midnight Friday, almost 42 years to the day that the modern-day gay rights movement was born amid violent encounters between police and gay activists at the Stonewall Inn.

Hundreds who gathered inside and outside the landmark bar erupted in celebration after the Republican-led state Senate cast the decisive vote.

Scott Redstone and his partner of 29 years, Steven Knittweis, hugged. And Redstone popped the question. “I said, ‘Will you marry me?’ And he said, ‘Of course!'”

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