Facebook Co-Founder Seeks Legalized Gay Marriage in NY

( [email protected] ) Jan 18, 2011 09:42 AM EST

The co-founder of Facebook and his boyfriend are seeking a same-sex marriage in New York.

Chris Hughes of Facebook and Sean Eldridge, political director of the homosexual lobby Freedom to Marry, became engaged on New Year’s Eve and have announced intentions of marrying in New York.

Presently, gay marriage is legal only in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Washington, D.C.

According to the New York Post, Eldridge announced the couple’s decision before Freedom to Marry reception guests, including New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The reception was held in the couple's SoHo loft.

As Eldridge announced the couple’s plans for a union, he reported there is a “real sense of urgency.”

"As you know, we can't get married in New York, so there is more of an urgency to approve gay marriage, so we can get married here,” he told guests.

The announcement comes as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to be plotting with lawmakers to propose state legislation to redefine marriage.

During his campaign, Cuomo made clear that he wants to make gay marriage legal in New York. He reiterated his intentions during his state of the state address earlier this month.

Gay marriage proponent state Sen. Thomas Duane (D) has pledged to introduce such legislation in the coming weeks.

“I think everyone is aware that we have to make the lives of New Yorkers better in every way – economically, as well as to provide equality to New York families," Duane said Monday.

Cuomo also made a statement by electing Erik Bottcher, Quinn's liaison to the gay community, to be his special adviser.

Despite the governor’s efforts, legalizing same-sex marriage in New York may be a challenge. A 2009 effort to legalize gay marriages was defeated, 38 to 24, in a democratically controlled state Senate.

Months prior to the vote, thousands of Christians filled Manhattan in a Sunday protest against the legalization of gay marriage.

Republicans now control the state Senate. New GOP Majority Leader Dean Skelos has made it clear that he doesn't support gay marriage.

In a previous discussion, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown expressed that Cuomo does not have the votes to pass gay marriage legislation in New York.

Brown said efforts to pass gay marriage legislation in states such as Maryland and New York are desperate attempts to gain ground amid the conservative upswing in several states and the U.S. House of Representatives.

So far, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Iowa, Minnesota and Wyoming are all working to repeal or ban same-sex marriage. Maryland Republican lawmakers are also introducing an inclusive civil union law as an alternative to same-sex marriage.

Brown noted that New York voters did not elect him to office to take on this issue.