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Local News June 16, 2011  RSS feed

Qns. Pols Push For Gay Marriage Law

Say Bill Extends ‘Basic Civil Right’


Rep. Joseph Crowley (at podium) led a host of elected officials at a press conference at Queens Borough Hall last Wednesday, June 8, calling on the state to approve legislation authorizing same-sex marriage. Rep. Joseph Crowley (at podium) led a host of elected officials at a press conference at Queens Borough Hall last Wednesday, June 8, calling on the state to approve legislation authorizing same-sex marriage. Queens elected officials and local labor leaders held a joint press conference in Kew Gardens last Wednesday, June 8, to announce broad support for marriage equality and to call on the state legislature to allow passage of a bill permitting same-sex marriages before the end of the legislative session on June 20.

Among those speaking out in favor of marriage equality at Queens Borough Hall were Rep. Joseph Crowley, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Comptroller John Liu, Public Advo cate Bill de Blasio, local labor leaders and a wide range of Queens based city, state and federal elected offi cials.

“Marriage equality is an issue of rights, not rites,” said Crowley. “Let me be clear: nothing in this bill man dates religious institutions to perform or recognize marriage rites. Instead, this legislation is about extending a basic civil right to all Americans. I join my colleagues across Queens in calling upon the state legislature to grant marriage equality to all New Yorkers.”

Officials and labor leaders also pledged support for borough wide volunteer canvasses, one of which occurred on June 11 12; the second will take place on June 18 19. Volun teers will knock on doors throughout Queens to encourage action in sup port of marriage equality.

“This is America where every in dividual is entitled to equal rights,” said Marshall.

“The momentum for marriage equality has never been stronger across the state. New Yorkers United for Marriage has maintained a strong presence in Queens, and the here leaders make that clear. It is because of this growing and strong support that I know marriage equality will be come a reality for New Yorkers in the very near future,” said Quinn. “We have more votes today in favor of marriage equality that ever before. And we have an incredibly focused governor leading the effort in Albany. He’s not letting up the fight, we’re night letting up the fight and New Yorkers in Queens and beyond are not letting up the fight. We will not stop until every New Yorker has the right to marry in their home state and I look forward to seeing that day soon.”

“Our city and our country will never be whole until everyone shares the same rights including the right to marry the person you love,” said de Blasio. “This borough is at the center of a movement sweeping across this state that will pass mar riage equality. We need to keep press ing at the grassroots and in Albany to win this basic right for every New Yorker.”

“When all is said and done, the only lasting question about the strug gle for marriage equality in New York will be why it took so long,” said Liu.

“The right to share your life with the person you love is a fundamental civil liberty,” added City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “After more than 12 years in a committed relationship with my partner, we should have the right to be married in the place we call home. Hopefully, the New York State Legislature will join the majority of New Yorkers in supporting marriage equality.”

Among the groups represented at the press conference were New York ers United for Marriage, the Empire State Pride Agenda, Freedom to Marry, the Human Rights Campaign, Marriage Equality New York and Log Cabin Republicans.

On Tuesday, June 14, Gov. An drew Cuomo formally introduced legislation for same sex marriage into the state legislature. It is antici pated that the bill could be voted on by Friday, June 17.