Some hoped legalizing same sex marriage in a cultural and business hub like New York would shine a national spotlight on the issue. Eyewitness News reporter Rachel Polansky spoke with advocates to find out about the impact.
New York became the sixth and largest state to allow same sex weddings. Supporters' hoped that it would boost national momentum and pump money into the state. One year later, the economic growth is unclear - but area advocates say the impact goes beyond statistics.
"Today is the anniversary of people being equal," says Bill Haffey, retired minister.
"It's important for people to realize the importance they have as people and that recognition of most important part of their life by the state is certainly a huge step forward," says Robert Christman, MVCC Professor and Gay/Straight Alliance Advisor.
Christman is an MVCC professor and Gay/Straight Alliance advisor. He believes marriage equality faces a generational divide.
"The college students don't seem to have the problem that there parents and grandparents generation do. Those under 35 say yes it's supposed to be that way. On the other hand, above 40, you get why should they have special privileges?"
"You hear a lot of people saying gays want special rights, but really what this whole thing is about is people having the same rights. And this means people actually have the same rights no matter who they are," says Haffey.
Despite legislative victories for states like ny, voters have rejected same sex marriage in 32 states. Regardless of the statistics, advocates say the true impact goes far beyond the numbers.
"I think of 2 women who got married last October, one of whom is going in for open heart surgery in the near future. And because New York has recognized marriage equality, her wife will be able to be there at her bed side and be able to hold her hand through the recovery process," says Barrett Lee, Boonville Pastor and Utica College Professor.
Lee says the best celebration of equality - is not celebrating at all.
"The end game of the so called gay agenda is to be as dull and as boring as everyone else. My hope is that my grandkids will look back at the issue of LGBT equality and say well duh grandpa, who would ever think you could pass a law to tell someone they can't get married?" says Lee.
According to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City has reaped more than a quarter of a billion dollars in economic benefits since gay marriage became legal one year ago. He says at least 8,200 same-sex couples have tied the knot in the city, accounting for more than 10% of the wedding licenses in New York City.