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(CNN) – New York legislators cleared the last major hurdle to legalize same-sex marriage Friday when the state Senate followed the Assembly’s lead in approving legislation to do so.

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The senate chamber erupted in applause from a packed gallery during an initial 36-26 vote that approved an amendment to the bill that would protect religious institutions that do not want to grant gay marriage, and more cheers could be heard echoing outside for minutes afterward.

Earlier in the day, the Assembly passed a version of the bill that included an amendment about religious institutions. The Friday night vote in the Senate means the legislation’s fate is now in the hands of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who proposed it.


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