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Celebrate Freedom to Marry Week

Paul Cates,
LGBT Project
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February 9, 2009

Today kicks off the 12th annual Freedom to Marry Week. This year, the week is focused on encouraging people across the country to have seven conversations in seven days to move people to support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. Readers of this blog may recall that just last week we launched the Tell 3 campaign to encourage people to talk to three close friends and relatives about what it means to be LGBT. Why the sudden push for conversations? Because that’s what’s ultimately going to build support for LGBT equality on all fronts. So whether you care about marriage or nondiscrimination protections, please try to talk to at least three (and as many as seven) people this week.

And speaking of marriage. It was a little disappointing to read in yesterday’s New York Times that New York Senate Majority leader Malcolm Smith said he didn’t have enough votes in the Senate to pass a marriage bill this year. Ever since the New York Supreme Court ruled that the state could continue to bar same-sex couples from marriage, many of us here in New York have been eager for the legislature to pass a law granting lesbian and gay couples the right to marry. The house passed a bill back in 2007, and Governor Patterson has expressed his support for the law. The Senate has always been the hold up.

In the article, Assemblyman (and former plaintiff in our New York marriage litigation) Danny O’Donnell sounded more optimistic. He noted that when the assembly took up the bill in February 2007, they didn’t have the votes either, but were able to pass the bill by June.

In other words, we’ve still got a lot of work to do to persuade New York Senators, and yes, that requires even more conversations. We’re looking for couples who will be willing to meet with their state Senator to make the case for marriage equality. If you’re willing to have one of these important conversations, please fill out our couples’ survey.

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