Momentum for Marriage Builds in NY Legislature

Three days after thousands of equality advocates descended on Albany, the New York Assembly re-introduced a bill that would grant marriage to gay and lesbian couples. In the waning hours of yesterday’s session, senior Democratic lawmaker Daniel J. O’Donnell introduced the legislation that would legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples, highlighting the sense of urgency to achieve the thrice-failed legislative effort. “It’s obvious that now, more than ever before, the people cannot, and will not, wait any longer for our government to enshrine equality for all in our state’s laws,” O’Donnell said in a statement, reports The New York Times. While the Assembly has three times passed the bill, the state Senate has consistently denied committed New York couples the legal ability to get married in the state in which they live and pay taxes. On Monday, roughly 1,000 people gathered in Albany for Equality and Justice Day, which was organized by the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA), with the goal of convincing legislators to support equality. According to ESPA Executive Director Ross Levi, polls show that close to 60 percent of New Yorks want marriage for gay couples, and there are two more "yes" votes than two years ago. Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, representing the executive branch of the state’s government, echoed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resounding support for marriage saying:  “This is not a political issue. This is not about Republicans and Democrats.” GLAAD is working with the newly formed coalition New Yorkers United for Marriage to media train couples to share their stories of love and commitment with the media, their communities, families and friends. Our next training is in Rochester, N.Y. Click here for more information.