New York became the sixth and largest state to legalize same-sex marriage after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law late Friday night. Gay weddings will begin in 30 days.

New York, the nation’s third most populous state, will join Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the Washington capital district in allowing same-sex couples to wed.

For five months in 2008, gay marriage was legal in California, the biggest state in population, and 18,000 same-sex couples rushed to tie the knot there before voters overturned the state Supreme Court ruling that allowed the practice. The constitutionality of California’s ban is now before a federal appeals court.

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