June 24 is a day to remember. A day I was proud to be a New Yorker. On this day the NYS Senate passed and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Marriage Equality Act. It was the culmination of years of hard work on the part of gay rights activists and a small group of enlightened political leaders to finally manage to convince a majority of legislators that no matter what their personal, political or religious beliefs, this was the right thing to do. (link to rally) It’s a question of equality for all and it’s just that simple.
From a personal perspective I will remember watching the vote together with about a hundred friends and supporters at the Long Island GLBT Services Network. Camaraderie, tears, smiles and hugs were abundant as the final speeches and roll call vote were broadcast live. We watched Democrats and a handful of Republicans, gay and straight legislators vote their conscience – some reaching deep within their souls for the courage to do the right thing. For many couples watching with us it meant a dream come true after sharing many years together. For others it was simply the affirmation of the possibility. For us, it was wonderful to watch history unfold in real-time, and to share the moment in this setting.