"Tonight, I joined my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to legalize same sex marriage in New York state," State Sen. Mark Grisanti said. "Since I began my term as senator, I have met with many people on both sides of this issue, read numerous documents and independent studies. Given the high stakes, I felt I owed it to everyone to make a well-informed decision. I have come to believe that all New Yorkers should be entitled to the same 1324 rights that come with a civil marriage. As an attorney, I analyzed the legislation and concluded that the amendments provide critical exemptions for religious institutions. Passage of this bill now rather than later ensures that these protections be included. I cannot deny anyone in my district and across New York the same rights I have with my wife."