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Saturday, June 25, 2011

We're in an Empire State of mind!

Well, it's about freakin' time!
After days of waiting, which followed months of pressure and years of groundwork, New York State has embraced marriage equality -- just in time for NYC Pride this weekend. It'll be quite the celebration, I'm sure!
Congrats definitely go out to all the groups and individuals who have worked so hard to get this done, who are too numerous to name. With this vote, we have now doubled the number of LGBT Americans who can legally marry in this country.
And our friends at Queer Rising also deserve a huge congratulations -- over the past several months they've held Governor Cuomo to his promise to pass marriage equality in New York. Utilizing nonviolent civil disobedience, they organized street closures, banner drops, and public pressure through the press...and this week they've kept up the pressure in Albany to counter the lies of the opposition, speaking truth to power, and ensuring that the legislators there knew there would be consequences to not holding this vote.
Let us be clear, though -- marriage is not the "end all, be all" of the movement for LGBT civil rights. While we're thrilled that marriage is now on the books in New York, we're pained that the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) has been shoved to the side by the Republican state legislature despite broad public support.
And New York isn't the only place where important legislation is pending. Across the country, states are taking up legislation to both add more rights and protections for LGBT Americans and, unfortunately, to try and strip rights away.
We're doing everything we can to add outside pressure to those fights in strategic ways -- to bolster the power of those doing "inside" work by creating "outside" crisis points that force resolution. We're also continuing to challenge our elected leaders at all levels -- from school boards to the President -- to stand up for our collective equality so that those living in states intent to keep LGBT folks unequal will have no choice but to respond to federal leadership. And we won't stop until all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer folks in this country are fully equal.
Today, we're celebrating Pride with a bit more dignity and a bit more equality -- but tomorrow, we have more work to do. We hope you're up for it, because we definitely are!
Get Out! Get Active! GetEQUAL!
Robin McGehee, Director
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