New York Representative Daniel O'Donnell is engaged to be married.

The 50-year-old O'Donnell has on four occasions successfully championed a gay marriage bill in the New York Assembly. Twice the Senate refused to vote on the proposed legislation, in 2009 they rejected it, but on Friday it cleared the chamber and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law, making New York the largest state yet to legalize gay marriage.

“My partner John Banta and I have been together for 31 years. We’ve always been engaged in our hearts, but now that Marriage Equality has passed, we’re engaged with the knowledge that soon we will be legally married in the state we were born, raised, and lived our adults lives,” O'Donnell told On Top Magazine in an email.

An O'Donnell staffer added that there are no wedding details yet, “but they're hoping to determine soon when and where the wedding will take place.”

O'Donnell and Banta met at Catholic University in 1978, and the men began dating two years later. The Assemblyman often brings Banta, the director of special events for the Metropolitan Opera, to legislative gatherings. O'Donnell told the New York Times he brings Banta along so his colleagues can see what a gay couple looks like.

“That wasn't accidental,” he told the paper. “I knew if I wanted my colleagues to treat me and treat my community with equality, they would have to see John and I through the prism of a relationship.”

He told a circle of students with the LGBT group Q that gay marriage was deeply personal for him but “I don't think, in the end, to most people, that this really matters.” Adding that young people especially understand that it's about love.

In 2008, the salt-and-pepper goteed assemblyman appeared in the premiere episode of A Bear's Life's online video magazine. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)