New Yorkers can be proud that their state helped pave the way for the ground-shifting announcement by President Obama on May 9 that gay and lesbian couples should be able to get married if they want to.
The Empire State legalized gender-blind marriage last summer, after years of struggle. Albany’s accomplishment was remarkable in that although it took precipitous machinations to make it law, New Yorkers supported it by a comfortable margin. Only about a third of the state’s residents expressed outright opposition.
Americans are now being bombarded by a blizzard of polling and political analyses about how Mr. Obama’s revolutionary message will or will not play in the November election. This speculative frenzy is not a surprise, but it obscures the key measure of this important moment — even if the president’s decision to announce his change of thinking now was motivated by politics.
Mr. Obama’s belated admission of this basic right follows the leadership of New York and other progressive states. As many have said before, no government should have a place in telling its citizens whom they should or should not marry.