I applaud New York State for allowing homosexual couples to marry. I further applaud their decision not to force religious groups opposed to such weddings to carry them out. The use of force should not be used upon consenting adults. If it makes people happy and harms no one else, then there is no justification for using force. Many religious individuals will be unhappy with this vote, but they need to understand that the state apparatus is not a vehicle for imposing their morality on other people. God calls on us to remove the logs from our own eyes prior to removing specks from that of other people; in short, until you are perfect, don't worry about what other people are doing, much less so use force on them to change their ways.
That said, many of my friends on the Left need to learn the same lesson. They applaud this decision, but then turn around and require higher taxes on tobacco, disgusting images on tobacco products, higher taxes on sugary foods, requiring people to purchase health care, etc. The whole point and purpose of opposing gay marriage bans is that the government has no point in telling people how to live their lives; what makes these other issues different? Live and let live, even when you don't like how other people choose to live.
There is a great deal of hypocrisy on both the Right and the Left. Neither side is truly committed to the ideal of not legislating morality; they merely have different moralities they wish to impose with the use of force. That is why I am a libertarian. I vote Republican because the Libertarian Party is a joke and the Republican is the lesser of the two evils, but hopefully the Tea Party movement will continue to swing the Republicans into the libertarian camp. The question we must ask every time a law is created is this: cui malo, or who is harmed? Laws regulate the interactions of man and man, not man and nature. Harm only exists when one person physically destroys, injures, or threatens to injure the property or person of another human being. If no one is harmed, then the government has no right to intervene. Gay marriage is a great example. Gay people are clearly not harmed by being allowed to marry each other. Other people may not like it, but that does not materially harm them. Furthermore, people may not like particular heterosexual marriages, but we recognize their right to choose regardless of society's collective opinion.
Politically, I am glad this went through the legislature rather than the courts. Other states have attempted to create this change through the judiciary, but it has often been countered with a state constitutional amendment that passes. Under such a situation, not only can the judges not change the laws, but even the legislature finds its hands tied. Having it passed through the legislature is more democratic, which is a better indicator that a constitutional amendment challenge will fail.