Today it was the Vermont legislature that shockingly and wonderfully defeated their Governor's veto of a bill granting equal marriage rights to Vermonters by an overwhelming vote (becoming the first state in the country to grant such rights through a legislative process and the fourth state that currently allows same-sex couples to marry in the US including Massachusetts, Connecticut and, of course, Iowa).
So what are we New Yorkers to do? Rally! Again! In support! Of course!
Last week, Civil Rights Front invited you to celebrate the victory in Iowa on Friday (Joe.My.God has got the goods here). Now they have been joined by Marriage Equality New York, The Power and The Wedding Party in urging you to rally TOMORROW WEDNESDAY APRIL 8TH in honor of the Vermont victory at the south side of Union Square from 6:30pm to 7:30pm.
In the meantime, Gay City News is reporting today that New York and New Jersey LGBT rights leaders Alan Van Capelle and Steven Goldstein are stepping up their calls to action for marriage equality in each state
In a statement from the Empire State Pride Agenda sent earlier today, Van Capelle stated that he was "embarrassed" for New York State and urged the state legislature not to be left behind:
We hope that our State Senate in New York will now look at three of the states that surround New York—Massachusetts, Connecticut and now Vermont—and realize that we are falling behind. Governor Paterson, Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand, every statewide official, the New York State Assembly, and a majority of New Yorkers already support passing a bill that would provide same-sex couples with the 1,324 rights and protections that come with a New York State marriage license.His New Jersey counterpart, Steven Goldstein, Director of Garden State Equality, also expressed "embarrassment" and went a step further, stating that the legislative win in Vermont meant the end for arguments that 'civil unions' were the same as marriage rights for same sex couples:
Today’s enactment of a marriage equality law in Vermont marks the official end of the failed civil union era in America. Civil union laws now join the Edsel, New Coke and 8-Track Tapes in the dustbin of history’s failed inventions.
New Jersey’s separate and unequal civil union law is an abject embarrassment to the nearly nine million people who live in our progressive state. Vermont, the state that invented civil unions in 2000, passed a marriage equality law today because legislators have seen that civil unions did work – and will never work – to provide equality as marriage would.
Vermont understands, and so does the clear majority of New Jerseyans who support marriage equality:
Civil unions are to equality what AIG bonuses are to corporate integrity.
The time to act is now.
OMG! I love Steve Goldstein press releases!! Edson? New Coke?! 8-track Tapes!!! YES!!!
And I also love Karen Pike's photography, which is where I got the image above from today's dramatic events in VT. For the complete gallery go here.
- With victories, gay rights groups expand marriage push (New York Times, April 8, 2009)