On June 23, the New York State Senate voted for marriage equality. They did this in spite of opposition from the Catholic Bishops and other religious groups. Even though New York State is relatively liberal political territory, it is large and influential nationally.
That vote, I believe, signals a definitive shift in the political winds on this issue nationally. It's been coming for a while, and New York looks like the turning point. Tens of thousands of gays and lesbians will soon marry -- and the world won't come to an end.
Most interesting, the New York Senate is Republican controlled, and although only four Republican senators voted for the bill, the leadership could have prevented a vote, but did not. Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Roman Catholic, signed the bill into law almost immediately.
The same legislation almost passed in the Maryland legislature earlier this year. And the Catholic governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, pushed for the bill and was ready to sign it had it passed.