Sunday, May 17, 2009

The NY Marriage Equality Rally- Broadway Impact

Robert and I had the pleasure of participating as speakers at the Marriage Equality Rally in NYC Sunday. The team from Broadway Impact did a fabulous job getting this together in 10 days time!! It was so well organized and filled with great entertainers and speakers.

The rally started off with the cast of "Hair" singing the signature song 'Aquarius". One of the performers Gavin Greel was one of the Broadway Impact organizers. That was followed by speeches from Sen.Tom Duane, Gov. Paterson, Danny O'Donnell and Mayor Bloomberg whom I have a bone to pick. His speech never gave any indication that at one time he opposed same-sex marriage and in fact appealed a ruling back in 2005 allowing marriage licenses to be issued. Who knows we could have had marriage by now in NY if it wasn't for that set back. But not to worry he is on board now. Better late then never.

Cynthia Nixon gave one of the most powerful speeches the "Sex in the City" star started off by saying, "I have a secret to tell you," she told the cheering crowd. "Last month, my girlfriend Christine and I got engaged. And I have a beautiful ring to prove it."

Nixon went on to call for the right for same-sex couples to get married in New York State, and talked about how Christine is a stay-at-home mom to their children, but has no legal right to them if Nixon dies (the children's father and Nixon's former husband, Danny Mozes, is also very involved in parenting them).

Nixon directed her remarks to the majority of people who oppose gay marriage not for religious reasons, but just because they "haven't caught up with us yet." She went on to say. "Now the main argument I hear against legalizing same-sex marriage is that in some way this will forever alter and mar traditional marriage, and what I want to know is: How? How will my girlfriend and I getting married have any affect on you and your wife, or you and your husband sitting at home? I also hear that the right to legal same-sex marriage is seen as an attack on traditional marriage, and I want to say that you are not the ones being attacked, we are.

And please believe I'm not being flippant when I say this: The right to marry is about us, it is not about you, any more than the fight for integration was about white people, or a women's right to vote was about men. It is only about you to the extent that you have to live with yourself knowing that you are depriving a significant portion of the population their basic civil rights."

Alan Van Cappelle of the Empire State Pride Agenda gave one of his as always magnificent motivational speeches.

Other celebrities in attendance were Cheyenne Jackson,Audra McDonald and David Hyde Pierce. David married his longtime partner of 26 years last year in California when it was legal.

There were also some heartwarming speeches from LGBT families impacted by not having all of the rights, privileges and responsibilities of marriage that rounded out the evening.

Kudos to the organizers Rory O'Malley, Jenny Kanelos,Anthony Hayes, Tom Viola and Heath Tucker

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