After signing the long awaited legislation to allow gay marriage in New York state into law, Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed reporters and said that New York has regained its reputation as a “beacon for social justice.”

Late on Friday evening, New York became the sixth US state to legalise gay marriage. After days of negotiation over protections for religious groups, senators voted 33-29 to pass the bill.

His words in full:-

“What we accomplished with marriage equality, really in some ways brings it all home, because this state, when it is at its finest, is a beacon for social justice. The legacy of this state was that we were the progressive capitol of the nation.

“When you look back at so many of the great progressive movements that were birthed here in New York, the women’s rights movement was birthed here in New York. The environmental rights movement was birthed here in New York, Storm King on the Hudson.

“The workers’ rights movement was birthed here in New York after the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire. All these great progressive movements, the gay rights movement was birthed at Stonewall. And what this state said today brings this discussion of marriage equality to a new plane. That’s the power and the beauty of New York.

“The other states look to New York for the progressive direction. And what we said today is you look to New York once again, because New York made a powerful statement, not just to the people of New York, but to people all across this nation.

“We reached a new level of social justice this evening, marriage equality. I said to the legislators, you look at the first word, marriage, it’s really about the second word, equality. It’s really about New Yorkers, our brothers and sisters, looking at us and saying, we want equality. We want equality in society, equality in our relationships, equality in our love, equality in our families. We want full recognition, marriage equality, and we did it today.”