Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New York Senate Says "No" to Equality

Today, thirty-eight New York state Senators blocked passage to extend civil marriage rights to same-sex couples.

It's infuriating, and for me ironic. You see, were it not for New York's otherwise progressive political culture, I probably wouldn't be here.

My parents married in New York in 1959. At that time, a dozen states still had laws on the books preventing people with epilepsy - including my dad - from marrying anyone. Even though those laws are now consigned to the proverbial dust-bin, the prejudicial attitudes behind them still carry on. The only difference is that they have been directed to another group of people.

Five states and seven nations have emnbraced marriage equality. None have falled into a pit of fire and brimstone. There has been no increase in crime, unemployment or other "bad things" as a result. Life goes on, and the only difference is that the couples who can now marry have less bureaucracy and more stability - traits exalted by conservatives everywhere.

Let's hope that Governor David Paterson has the courage to put forward the bill again, and to keep pushing along with LGBT activists and their allies for its passage.

New York's motto is "Ever Upward". What better way to live up to that motto by making sure all of their citizens and families are extended the same rights and recognition.

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