NEW YORK, May 4 (UPI) -- More than 700 religious leaders, both lay and clerical, signed a petition in support of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in New York State.
The signers come from a variety of religious traditions, although the list appears to be dominated by mainline Protestants, The Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union reported. The Rev. Samuel Trumbore, a Unitarian minister in Albany, suggested gay marriage should be considered a civil rights issue.
"If fundamentalists don't want to do same-sex marriages, they don't have to," he said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who supports the bill, said he hopes it will pass the Senate, where similar legislation has died in the past.
"I think this is a different day," he said.
The bill won the support Wednesday of New York's largest Spanish-language newspaper, El Diario. The newspaper points out that New York's gay population is larger than the combined gay communities in the six states and the District of Columbia where same-sex marriage is legal.
"Homosexuality is a human reality," the newspaper wrote. "The majority of New Yorkers have a friend, colleague or relative who's gay. It's time to give these people the opportunity to develop families and build communities. Our government shouldn't be in the business of telling the people who to love or who to marry."