Friday, June 24, 2011
NEW YORK PASSES MARRIAGE EQUALITY!!!
NEW YORK PASSES MARRIAGE EQUALITY ON 33-29 VOTE1
What an amazing and historic night. The New York Senate, following the lead of the New York Assembly, has passed an historic marriage equality bill, extending the right to marry to GLBT New Yorkers. New York becomes the sixth and largest state in the union to recognize marriage or civil unions. After first passing a compromise bill specifically exempting churges and religious organizations from provisions of the marriage equality bill, four Republican senators joined twenty-nine democrats to pass the bill.
Large crowds and protesters on both sides of the issue had gathered in the halls of the Albany capitol. When the final vote was announced, supporters broke into loud cheers and chants of "USA! USA!"
(Photo by Spenser Platts)
Large crowds also gathered outside the Stonewall Bar in the West Village to await the outcome. This is Gay Pride Weekend in New York, and tomorrow is the NY Gay Pride Parade. The Empire State Building, which usually is lit with lavender lights during Pride Weekend, ignited tonight with this beautiful rainbow lighting.
Normally, I try to be in New York for the last week in June, flying out for Leather Pride, staying the week, and taking part the next weekend for Gay Pride. The parade is the best in the world. I decided to postpone my trip this time until later in the year, and boy, am I kicking myself for that decision.
To all my many New York friends and colleagues, and to all the hard-working activists, congratulations on this monumental victory. Hopefully, this moment in New York represents a tipping point.