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The Struggle for Marriage Equality, Close to Home

Written By: Claire Kenny
December 4, 2009

 

Although IWHC focuses on supporting people who are often far away from our headquarters in New York City in their pursuit of their health and rights, we also keep pace with the news on the health and rights of people who are a bit closer to home.

The New York State Senate’s deeply dispiriting Wednesday rejection of Bill S66003, which would have extended marriage rights to same-sex couples, keeps New York among the 45 U.S. states that deny this key civil right to its gay & lesbian citizens, until at least 2011.

In response to the bill’s 38-24 defeat (“no” voters included eight senators from the boroughs of New York City, where IWHC’s offices are located) Marriage Equality New York held a rally last night in Manhattan’s Union Square. The solid crowd for this short-notice event included some holding candles, as MENY’s event calendar had suggested, but many more raising signs of protest demanding “EQUALITY FOR ALL FAMILIES” or featuring angrily-captioned images of vocal marriage-equality opponents like Senator Rubén Díaz, clearly signaling a strong sense of betrayal by elected officials. Among those addressing the crowd were Governor David Paterson, State Senator Daniel Squadron (who voted in favor of the bill) and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Though a weak sound system meant that all but those closest to the dais had difficulty hearing the speakers, the spirit of their messages—and the enthusiasm of the crowd’s response—made clear the commitment of New Yorkers to stay focused on this critical issue as long as needed to ensure just marriage laws for all.

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