Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Viewing The NY State Assembly Proceedings Last Night

Robert and I were invited last night by Assemblyman Mike Spano to attend the NY State Assembly debate the NY Marriage Bill. We did not know we would be acknowledged as guests in the gallery that was kind of special. Well the debate went on for about three and half hours. Danny O'Donnell did a great job defending his bill using quotes from Mrs. Loving and Martin Luther King. There were many personal stories told and Assemblywomen Duprey gave her story of how she transitioned from voting no last time to yes this time. Educating herself on the issue and speaking to constituents that were impacted by not having the rights and protections of marriage.
Some of the opponents were clearly not educated on the issue. There were the usual religious based arguments that we are all used to hearing. There were very clear counter arguments that this is not a religious issue it is civil marriage and that our Constitutions both state and federal clearly state the separation of state. They used the the usually NOM arguments that our side was pretty much able to dispel. There were a few things that stuck out in my mind. A good number of our African American assembly members clearly resented that this was being framed as a civil rights issue. It just baffles me that these people faced with discrimination most of their lives could not identify with the discrimination we in the gay community face. There needs to be a lot of education to the Black communities they do not accept this as a civil rights issue.
The most outrageous argument was from Assemblyman Tedisco he wanted to know why we weren't protecting bisexuals and weren't we being discriminatory in our own bill. Mr. Tedisco's understanding of the bisexuality is that bisexuals date or have relationships with a man and a women at the same time. There is no excuse of an elected official not having a basic understanding of the subject matter they are voting on. Fortunately the only NY Bisexual assembly person spoke and did his best to clarify what a bisexual is UGH! This is what we are dealing with folks. Theresa Saywood gave a very personal speech again which was very moving.
We were also acknowledged by our friend Assemblyman Mike Benedetto a long time friend from the Bronx as he cast his vote.

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