New York State Senator Mark Grisanti and three additional Republicans in the Senate on Friday helped make New York the sixth – and most populous – state in the nation to legalize gay marriage. Before casting his vote, Grisanti told fellow lawmakers that he couldn't find a legal reason to oppose marriage equality.

Grisanti said he previously opposed such unions because of his religious upbringing.

“The issue of same-sex marriage was never a strong topic of discussion among family and friends. I simply opposed it in the Catholic sense of my upbringing.”

“As a Catholic, I was raised to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. I'm not here, however, as a senator who is just Catholic. I'm also here with a background as an attorney. To which I look at things and I apply reason.”

“I have studied this issue. To those who know me, they know I have struggled with it.”

“I cannot legally come up an argument against same-sex marriage. Who am I to say that someone does not have the same rights that I have with my wife, who I love, or to have the 1300-plus rights that I share with her.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

Grisanti spoke after Senator Stephen Saland had announced his support for the measure, breaking a tie in the chamber and guaranteeing the measure's passage.