Countdown to the Passing of Marriage Equality Bill in New York

Empire State Pride Agenda’s Equality and Justice Day at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany on Monday, May 5, 2011 gathered supporters shouting “What do you want? Genda! When do you want it? Now!  What do you want? Marriage! When do you want it? Now!” You get the drift…Equality and Justice, followed.

Tad from Center Lane in Westchester, NY

Transgender rights is on the agenda this year.  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo promises to pass the marriage equality bill before the legislative session ends in June.  It should be noted here that the Governor was conspicuously absent from the annual lobby day.

However, earlier in the morning the crowd listened to remarks by Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy a former police officer who assured them that the Governor was committed to passing the bill.  Our two openly gay lawmakers, Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell and Senator Thomas Duane who received a standing ovation ignited the crowd with hope for a win, soon.

In a tightly scheduled outdoor rally in the park from 1pm – 1:30pm the crowd of over 1200 supporters listened to Miss New York 2010 Claire Buffie eloquently press the agenda as a PFLAG supporter. Her sister is gay!

Empire State Pride Agenda’s Executive Director Ross D. Levi was confident that the Governor’s word was bond.  A clear win is expected, soon.

New York City based LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent traveled to the capital to share their belief in the spiritual values of love, inclusiveness and respect for all people.  Convenor Dr. Wilhelmina Perry told her widow story in the office of Senator Bill Perkins who was also absent. When her partner of thirty years died, she spent two months consulting with lawyers so that she would not lose her home when  family members came in from Puerto Rico to lay their claims.  “I want to put a Black face on the movement for marriage equality,” said Dr. Perry.

Dr. Ronald Lonesome, Ph.D., Dr. Wilhelmina Perry, Rev. Eunice Coldman

photos by Fabian Burrell

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