If you're a supporter of same-sex marriage - or better yet, if you are an openly gay person in a relationship who has long dreamed of marrying your partner - the vote was one of historic proportions. If you are an ardent opponent of same-sex marriage, you should at least take solace in the fact that a controversial issue actually came to some sort of conclusion in Albany, where the state legislature has long been defined by its dysfunction.
At the heart of the issue is Governor Andrew Cuomo, who showed that he has real leadership skills and the ears of elected officials in both houses and on both sides of the aisle. This is a good sign moving forward. If Cuomo can get something as controversial as same-sex marriage passed, surely he can tackle less-contentious issues and maybe Albany can once again work for the people of the state, and not be a liability that causes Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. every couple of years to only half-jokingly suggest that New York City secede from the rest of the state.
When Eliot Spitzer was elected governor in a landslide election, many thought he would be the person to bring reform to Albany, given the bulldog-style he gained a reputation for as attorney general. But the wide margin by which he won went to his head, and his brash style was already starting grate his political opponents in the state capital who grew tired of working - or not working with - him, even before a sex scandal would force him to resign from office.
And David Paterson never really stood a chance. He was always seen as a fill-in, an un-elected elected official who more often than not put his own foot in his mouth, doing his critics' job for them. We feel like Paterson intentions were admirable, but he never really had the respect of his fellow lawmakers. Take for instance his own attempt in 2009 to legalize same-sex marriage, which failed when he couldn't even get members of his own party to take a stand on the controversial issue.
So, if you were a supporter of same-sex marriage, celebrate a historic vote for marriage equality. If you were opposed, at least take heart that something big was actually accomplished in Albany, a sign that real leadership has returned to the state capital.