June 24, 2011

Rich Ferraro
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011

New York, NY, June 24, 2011 – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today applauded a vote by the New York state Senate that will allow loving gay and lesbian couples to marry in the Empire State. The bill, which was approved by the state Assembly last Wednesday, will now be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has led a high-profile campaign in support of marriage equality in New York.

"At the heart of this vote are loving and committed New Yorkers who simply want the same thing all Americans want:  the ability to take care of the people they love and to protect their families," said GLAAD's Senior Director of Programs Herndon Graddick. "Gay and lesbian New Yorkers are now one step closer to the vital legal protections that marriage affords and which all couples need.

"GLAAD applauds the work of our partners at the Empire State Pride Agenda, Marriage Equality New York, Freedom to Marry, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Log Cabin Republicans and the couples whose personal stories have moved lawmakers to support this historic legislation," Graddick continued.  "GLAAD encourages media reporting on this story to ground their coverage in the stories of the New York couples whose love and commitment is at the heart of today's decision."

GLAAD has helped several gay and lesbian couples from across the Empire State share their stories in local and national media in an effort to build support for marriage equality. In collaboration with the New Yorkers United for Marriage coalition, GLAAD has also held trainings for couples and allies that help advocates speak out more effectively on the local and national level.