Civil marriage equality in effect at the state level since 2011. (Same-sex couples may legally marry.)
Marriage Equality New York (MENY) was officially founded in NYC in February 1998. MENY, Marriage Equality California (MECA) and Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA) were all born of ideas a group of activists conceived in 1996. Connie Ress, of New York, was MEUSA's first Executive Director. See Our History.
In February 2004, during the Winter of Love, Mayor Jason West of New Paltz, in the Hudson Valley, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The mayor was arrested in early March 2004 for continuing to issue the licenses. Today New Paltz celebrates the anniversary of their role in the 2004 Winter of Love.
In 2009, U.S. Representative Jerome Nadler (D-NY) first introduced the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA). He has introduced this piece of national legislation in each Congress since that time, with the current version of the RFMA having been introduced in July 2013. The RFMA would invalidate DOMA as a whole and federally establish marriage equality through-out the country.
In 2011 MENY and MEUSA consolidated.
The historic DOMA case, Windsor v. United States, originated in New York with plaintiff Edie Windsor (MEUSA member), in 2012.