Gay Rights Groups Launch NY Marriage Campaign
Four gay rights groups have come together to form a coalition that will push to legalize same-sex marriage in New York.
The Human Rights Campaign, Marriage Equality New York, Empire State Pride Agenda and Freedom to Marry all announced Wednesday that they are joining forces to become New Yorkers United for Marriage.
Freedom to Marry Executive Director Evan Wolfson says that campaign is ready and “rolling.”
WOLFSON: “What we wanted to communicate was that now is the moment to do it–there is complete unity. There’s going to be a combined and serious and smart and focused effort to get the job done, working closely with the governor and legislative leaders.”
Just two years ago, the state Senate defeated a bill that would have legalized gay marriage by a 38-24 vote — a stunning loss some political observers attributed to miscommunication and conflicting messages from the advocacy groups involved. Wolfson told OutQ News HE thinks the problem in 2009 was political chaos — “a complete meltdown” — in the state legislature.
But now, advocates believe they have the wind at their back. A recent poll found that 58-percent of New Yorkers support same-sex marriage.
And newly-elected, highly popular Governor Andrew Cuomo has stressed the importance of passing a marriage equality bill this legislative session. In fact, he has already instructed members of his staff to oversee the coalition’s new campaign. It’s expected to include TV and radio ads, as well as ground organizing in districts with uncommitted lawmakers.
Advocates say they want same-sex marriage to be legal by early summer.