At 11:55 p.m. on Friday, June 24, N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed marriage for same-sex couples into law. Needless to say, an enormous amount of effort went into this victory.

The New York Times did a great job at explaining just how much effort it took:

rings.jpgThe story of how same-sex marriage became legal in New York is about shifting public sentiment and individual lawmakers moved by emotional appeals from gay couples who wish to be wed.

But, behind the scenes, it was really about a Republican Party reckoning with a profoundly changing power dynamic, where Wall Street donors and gay-rights advocates demonstrated more might and muscle than a Roman Catholic hierarchy and an ineffective opposition.

And it was about a Democratic governor, himself a Catholic, who used the force of his personality and relentlessly strategic mind to persuade conflicted lawmakers to take a historic leap.

Undoubtedly, there was a set of circumstances in this story that are not easily replicated. That said, I believe the legislation itself is a template for other states.

Of the many factors that led to marriage equality in New York State, I am sure that the most potent combination was the leadership of Cuomo and the teamwork of advocates.

And there is the lesson for advocates everywhere: To get the big stuff done, you’ve got to work together. I pray that both HIV/AIDS and LGBT advocates nationwide will learn that important lesson.