Posted at: 06/25/2012 10:30 AM
| Updated at: 06/25/2012 11:58 AM
By: Abigail Bleck
When legislators voted to approve gay marriage one year ago, you could hear the cheers at the Capitol from blocks away.
Since same-sex marriage became law, more than 8,000 couples have wed in New York.
The couples I spoke to told me their relationships haven't changed just because they got married, but their legal protections have.
Cathy Cave and Sherry Frohman didn't need a piece of paper to prove their love. They've been a couple for more than two decades and raised two children together.
“It was actually our kids who pushed us. They said you deserve to have a marriage like everybody else and we want to see our moms get married,” said Frohman.
But, the historic vote in Albany one year ago, did change thousands of lives, inside homes and outside of them too.
“When I would drive in my car I had to carry pieces of paper saying who my partner was in case there was an accident. There was never an assumption my partner would be allowed in there to make decisions for me,” said Frohman.
When gay marriage failed in New York in 2009 it was a major disappointment for same-sex couples and the other people and politicians who supported them. Even last year, the difference was just four votes.
“People said go to Massachusetts, go to Vermont and I said, 'If I'm going to get married I want to get married in New York,’” said Richard Conti.
Conti did get married in November. Richard and Steve made it official, in the eyes of the government, at least, the day of their 25th anniversary.
“What marriage does, it validates that relationship and I think it's also made it stronger. Or I feel a stronger bond,” said Conti.
A stronger bond for thousands of couples and stronger protections for thousands of New York citizens.
“While there never was a question between the two of us there was certainly questions from outsiders. It just puts a lot to bed,” said Cave.
The group New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is suing the senate over the approval. A state appeals court in Rochester heard the case last month.