Thursday, May 26, 2011

New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made

Also has rural farm communities and former industrial strong-holds where they die.

If you have been following my blog (thanks Mom!) you will know that over the past few years I have been working on the issue of Marriage Equality in the Empire State. For those of you not paying much attention and for some reason choose to get your news here (dude, get out more) here is the update:
1. Governor Coumo has promised to take on this issue as the most important social issue in his legislative agenda.

2. There is now a coalition being supported by the Governor's office that includes all the big LGBT players; they are putting on great ads and lobbying hard. We were all excited for a while.

3. The Conservative Party has come out to say that any Republican who votes for Marriage Equality will not receive their support in the upcoming elections.

4. Senator Golden of Brooklyn (Mayor Bloomberg's "besty" in the Senate) introduced a bill that would invalidate all same-sex marriages from other municipalities in the State of New York. (Read: Conservative Party litmus test.)

5. We have no reason to believe any votes will change in the State Senate before the end of this session. We are no longer excited.

I am bummed. I was pretty sure we were going to get it this time around. When the State passed a budget on time for the first time since Adam and Eve were doing their post-Eden accounting, I thought maybe, just maybe, this Governor has the juice to make it happen.

But after meetings last week in Albany and countless emails and phone calls from the coalition leaders, I do not believe the Governor is going to a) waste political capital and b) take an other loss for this extremely important civil rights issue.

This is defeatist I know...but I still have some hope.

I met a man last Monday in Albany who has a child with his husband but spends every Monday and Tuesday in the Capital meeting with as many Senators and staff members as will let him in the door. He has been doing this since the budget passed. This kind of dedication to his civil rights is inspirational and utterly depressing at the same time; the fact that he does this is powerful, the fact he has to do this is shameful.

However, I choose to look at the better side of his work and our impending defeat. We will know who to target. We will continue to become better organized. Eventually New York will take a step forward and lead by example. Until then, we fight.

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