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VIDEO: NEW YORK REPUBLICAN STATE SENATOR GRISANTI EXPLAINS YES VOTE FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Jun 25th, 2011 01:03 PM By

Below is video of State Senator Grisanti’s speech last night on why he was voting YES on marriage equality. He and 3 of his fellow Republican peers stood up and decided they wanted to be on the right side of history!

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MARRIAGE EQUALITY PASSES IN NEW YORK!!!

Jun 24th, 2011 09:54 PM By

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In a historic vote this evening, the New York Senate passed marriage equality by a vote of 33 to 29! The Empire State now becomes the 6th and largest state in America to allow the freedom to marry for gay couples.

The following is a statement from Give a Damn Campaign founder Cyndi Lauper, a longtime advocate for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, about today’s passage of marriage equality in her home state of New York:

I have never been prouder to be a lifelong New Yorker than I am today with the passage of marriage equality. New York joins a growing number of states leading the nation towards the future we have always been destined for, a future where everyone is treated equally, with dignity and respect.

I am inspired by all of my fellow New Yorkers who stood with us and showed their support by contacting their state representatives, attending rallies and encouraging their family and friends to get involved. It is because of great citizens like them that civil rights for all, especially gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, continue to advance in this country.

I am equally inspired by the state assembly members and senators who stood by their convictions and voted “YES”. I am in awe of their decision, along with unwavering leaders like Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, to be on the right side of history.

New York also owes a debt of gratitude to the organizations and community leaders like the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry, the Empire State Pride Agenda and Broadway Impact for their dedication and commitment to making marriage equality a reality in the Empire State.

We are one nation and through this long effort people across the country proved that through their encouragement and support. Now, we must work to pass marriage equality in the 44 states left and they can count on us New Yorkers to be there for them as they were here for us.

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WATCH LIVE: NEW YORK SENATE TO VOTE ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY TONIGHT

Jun 24th, 2011 06:49 PM By

It has been confirmed by multiple new sources that the New York Senate will vote on the marriage equality bill tonight. No one knows what time the vote will take place yet. You can watch live below:

Watch live streaming video from nysenate at livestream.com

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URGENT: MARRIAGE EQUALITY NOW ONLY 1 VOTE AWAY IN NEW YORK. CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR TODAY!

Jun 14th, 2011 12:53 PM By

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UPDATE (12:20 PM 6/22/11):

We are still waiting on word if the vote on the marriage equality bill in New York will take place today or possibly tomorrow. Keep the calls and emails coming. Find out how you can take action below.

UPDATE (4:23 PM 6/20/11):

From our friends at the Human Rights Campaign: “It is clear that there are a number of issues still to be resolved in Albany which may result in the Legislature staying beyond the June 20th deadline. We are heartened that there continues to be respectful and productive dialogue on the issue of marriage equality and remain hopeful that all New Yorkers will soon be able to marry the person they love.”

UPDATE (10:21 PM 6/15/11):

1. The New York state Assembly just passed the marriage equality bill by a vote of 80-63!

2. The bill now heads to the New York state Senate. The current count of committed YES votes means we are just 1 vote away from marriage equality passing in the Empire State.

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UPDATE (6:30 PM 6/14/11):

1. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo officially proposes the Marriage Equality Act today.

2. Another Republican state senator, Roy McDonald, has announced his support for the marriage equality bill. We are just now 1 vote away from it possibly passing this week!

3. The Human Rights Campaign has released Give a Damn founder Cyndi Lauper’s New Yorker for Marriage Equality PSA today. Check it out below.

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We are down to the wire. This week is our last chance to pass marriage equality in New York before the state legislative session ends!

Yesterday, 4 New York state senators, 3 Democrats and 1 Republican, who had previously voted against marriage equality announced that they will vote YES on pending legislation that will grant gay couples the freedom to marry in the Empire State. This leaves only 2 votes left to ensure that the bill passes.

So, time is of the essence. If you live in New York, please contact your state senator today. If you have family and friends who live in New York, please urge them to contact their state senator as well. Now is the time to get involved!

Our friends at the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and FriendFactor have made it very easy. Through each of their websites you can contact your state senator. It only takes a couple of minutes and you will make a big difference in ensuring marriage equality is passed in New York.

Here are some reasons why marriage equality is so important:

Give a Damn founder Cyndi Lauper (HRC’s New Yorkers for Marriage Equality)

Kathy Najimy and Dan Finnerty (Give a Damn Campaign)

Loving vs. Virginia (American Foundation for Equal Rights)

New Yorkers United for Marriage PSA

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Argentina is Progressing!

Jun 01st, 2011 03:41 PM By Ana Jennifer

It is worth mentioning that I’m heterosexual and raised in the Catholic faith, but now I consider myself agnostic. It is also necessary to say that I’m proud of what my country is doing for all gays and lesbians who live here.

The new law on “Equal Marriage”, passed in July 2010, allows couples to legally marry (as well as the possibility of adoption – one of the most contentious issues-, inheritance and other rights of inheritance, death pension payments and other provisions relating to social security), which is a considerably important step because it made ​​Argentina the first country in Latin America that makes this possible. :)

Unfortunately, as this country is predominantly Catholic, it was inevitable to find on almost all walls of buildings in major cities signs saying “We want Daddy and Mommy” and the image of children as well as countless crowds protesting against the issue, all powered by the Catholic Church and conservative groups.

However, many people are learning to live with this. Keep in mind that our upbringing and religion are definitely factors that make us who we are and our tolerance for certain issues, but everything is changing slowly but in a good way.

I’m very happy that this is happening. It is a step towards the eradication of sexual discrimination.

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My True Love . . . in Romania

Jun 01st, 2011 03:37 PM By Steven

After developing a long-term relationship on the internet, I decided I wanted to meet my Romanian friend, in real life, to make sure that he was who he said he was. I traveled all the way to Bucharest, Romania and met him for the first time in 2008. He was all that I thought he was and more. Cristi was the most sincere, interesting and beautiful man I had ever met. Love at first site? Well, for me yes, but I’m sure he was influenced by his own country’s oppressive atmosphere toward gay persons. Yes, my own society is not so warm towards gay people either, but his is worse. At a gay pride parade, allowed by law there, but not really encouraged at all, one of my gay Romanian friends was hit over the head with a bottle, and sent to the emergency room of an unnamed hospital. He never saw the bottle coming, and police were standing by, and did nothing about the incident, other than to help the man get to the hospital, after the fact. Police there have been known to “look the other way” when discrimination and violence is perpetrated against the gay victim.
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CIVIL UNIONS TAKE EFFECT IN ILLINOIS

Jun 01st, 2011 03:15 PM By

According to The Chicago Sun-Times:

illinois-seal“Illinois’ new law allowing civil unions took effect Wednesday, and gay and lesbian couples began lining up hours before county clerk’s offices opened so they could be among the first to get a civil union license.

“More than 75 couples were in line by the time the doors opened early at 7:30 a.m. at the Cook County Building in downtown Chicago, where the vital records office will stay open until 7 p.m. to accommodate couples. Officials said they expect to issue about 2,000 licenses the first day.

“At the head of the line were Lakeesha Harris and Janean Watkins, who got there at midnight. The Chicago couple, together for 10 years, have six children and a home but say they always felt relegated to second-class status, until now.

“’We’ve been ostracized and relegated to the bottom rung of society,’ said Harris, 36. ‘I feel like this is some sort of justice for us, for our family. I’m so grateful. I’m thankful.’

“Civil unions give couples many of the rights that accompany traditional marriage, including the power to decide medical treatment for an ailing partner, the right to inherit a partner’s property and the ability to receive spousal employment benefits.

“The first civil union ceremonies under the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act can’t take place until Thursday, when dozens of couples are expected to participate in a mass ceremony at Chicago’s Millennium Park.

“The law that took effect Wednesday allows civil unions, not marriages, among same-sex couples, though it also recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other states.

“Illinois now is among six states that allow same-sex couples benefits similar to those granted married couples.”

Read the full The Chicago Sun-Times article >>

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CAROLINE KENNEDY BECOMES 100,000TH SIGNER OF LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT TO SUPPORT THE FREEDOM TO MARRY

May 16th, 2011 04:37 PM By

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From our friends at Freedom to Marry:

Caroline Kennedy became the 100,000th signer on Freedom to Marry’s Open Letter urging President Obama to support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples.

“Falling in love, getting married, and building a family is part of the American dream,” said Caroline Kennedy. “I believe that all Americans, including committed gay and lesbian couples, should have the opportunity to pursue that dream.”

Freedom to Marry’s “Say I Do” campaign was launched on March 14th with an Open Letter to the President signed by prominent Americans, including civil rights leaders, Hollywood stars, musicians, and business leaders. Since then, 100,000 Americans have joined the campaign and signed on to the letter calling on the President to join “the majority of Americans who support the freedom to marry.”

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BALTIMORE RAVENS LINEBACKER SPEAKS UP FOR EQUALITY ON ESPN

May 16th, 2011 04:16 PM By

Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo talks about his public support for marriage equality as a straight athlete on ESPN:

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DELAWARE GOVERNOR SIGNS CIVIL UNIONS BILL

May 12th, 2011 11:24 AM By

According to The Washington Post:

“Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has signed a bill into law that gives same-sex couples legal protections and recognition beginning in 2012.

“It makes Delaware the eighth state to allow civil unions or domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.

“The Democratic governor signed the civil unions bill Wednesday night before a cheering crowd of more than 600 at The Queen theater Wilmington.

“The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2012.”

Read the full The Washington Post article >>

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