National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Applauds New York Assembly for Historic Vote on Marriage Equality

Urges Vote on Bill to Protect Transgender People

Jun 19, 2007, 01:00 ET from National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

    NEW YORK, June 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, by a vote of 85 to
 61, the New York State Assembly passed a bill sponsored by Governor Eliot
 Spitzer to extend the freedom to marry to same sex couples. Only two other
 legislative chambers - both Houses of the California legislature - have
 passed similar legislation in the past. The bill now moves to the State
 Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority. The leader of the senate,
 Joseph L. Bruno (R/C- Rensselaer-Saratoga) has said he personally would not
 support the bill, and said it was "not a priority in the Senate." The
 session is slated to end on Thursday.
     Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
     National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
     "This great day for New York and the nation shows that when the courts
 fail us - as they did so appallingly in New York last summer - we can and
 will press on to win marriage equality through the state legislatures. We
 thank Governor Spitzer for introducing this bill, Assembly member Danny
 O'Donnell, its sponsor, for leading the charge and compelling his
 colleagues to have the courage to act, and most of all, Alan Van Capelle
 and the Empire State Pride Agenda for their dogged organizing and lobbying
 from Buffalo to Montauk. If anyone thinks this was an easy job because New
 York is so 'liberal,' they don't know a thing about Albany.
     "Now, the focus shifts to the State Senate and its Majority Leader, Joe
 Bruno. I know from personal experience that Senator Bruno is a thoughtful
 and decent man who is moved by injustice. We urge him to allow the bill,
 sponsored by our own Tom Duane, to come to the floor and allow all members
 to vote their consciences.
     "Finally, we call upon the State Assembly to pass the Gender Expression
 Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), which would ban discrimination based upon
 gender identity and expression. It's a disgrace that the bill has
 languished four years, while so many other states have taken action.

SOURCE National Gay and Lesbian Task Force