Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New Yorkers March for Same Sex Marriage Bill

NY1 News
May 22, 2007

New Yorkers March For Same-Sex Marriage Bill
May 19, 2007

Supporters of same-sex marriage rights rallied Saturday -- calling on the state to legalize gay marriage.

Advocates held a march across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn.

"We aren't here in favor of mandatory gay marriage. We are neither advocating that people become gay or become married. We are saying that there's a certain dignity this country aspires to,” said Representative Anthony Weiner.

Politicians, as well as couples looking to marry, were emboldened by the recent actions of Governor Eliot Spitzer. Last month, he proposed giving same-sex couples the same marriage rights as straight couples.

Currently, Massachusetts is the only state to allow gay marriage. Other states, like New Jersey, permit civil unions.

For one couple of five years, marriage in New York can't come soon enough.

"We don't want to be married in another state; we don't want to be married in another country,” said Gair Morris, same-sex marriage advocate. “New York is the greatest city in the world and the greatest state and this is where we want to be married."

Supporters admit they have a long way to go and that same-sex marriage isn't likely to happen in New York this year because Joe Bruno, who runs the Republican-controlled State Senate, is opposed to it and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has yet to take a position.

But Assembly members are planning to introduce the bill on Monday.

"Whatever's happening on the national scene, I believe we have to be audacious, I believe we have to demand marriage equality and build this movement strongly,” said Brooklyn City Councilman Bill de Blasio. “I will be with you 100 percent."

"Let's bring marriage equality now,” said Weiner. “It starts with you, it starts in New York, it starts in Albany. And soon, with God’s help, when our grandkids are raised up, they'll look back and say, 'marriage equality -- but of course, what was the big deal.'"

Spitzer's bill would require marriage licenses be issued regardless of gender, but would not compel religious institutions to perform same-sex marriages.


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