|News That Matters |
Brought to you (Almost Daily) by PlanPutnam.Org
Telling it like it is for 10 years and counting...
|Contact Us | Shop Putnam | Putnam Outdoors | RSS Feed | Visit the Blog | Visit our Sponsor | Donate | Blogsite | Events|
|"From the fight for women's suffrage to the struggle for civil rights, New Yorkers have been on the right side of history. Indeed New Yorkers have made history. But on the issue of marriage equality, New York has fallen behind." -- Governor Andrew Cuomo |
Good Friday Morning,
In an editorial this morning, the Poughkeepsie Journal joined the long and growing list of people, organizations and media outlets that have endorsed Marriage Equality in New York State. If you have done the same (and if you're reading you'd had better!) you need to call your State Senator and tell him to get on the bandwagon. There can be no fence-sitters when it comes to civil rights.
Take five minutes *TODAY* and call The Senator Who Shall Not Be Named at: 845-279-3773 and tell him you support and endorse equal rights for all New Yorkers and that you expect him to do the same. If you've not yet called, now is the time. If you've called in the past, call again as a reminder.
Where are your speculators now, huh?
The price of gasoline has declined a nickel at my local GasMart. And one must wonder: we hear all this news about "speculators" but the moment the government announces it's going to investigate the price comes down?
Here's what's really happening: The fossil fuel companies gouge the shit out of you to earn massive profits and everyone, from them to the talking heads to the government blames some outside, unseen force to deflect responsibility away from the gougers. And when the government thinks they've earned enough and the high prices begin to have a negative effect on the overall economy they let the companies know by saying, "We're going to investigate!" which is the signal to back off.
On Winding Down:
Reader Tom V wrote:
"I'm so sorry to see you cease publication but at least I got to enjoy a tiny bit of your unique journalistic insight. I always got up in the morning looking forward to what was on your mid each day. I did not always agree with your position but you always made me think and I truly enjoy folks, papers and books that can do that for me."Reader PV wrote:
"Of course I read yesterday's edition with dismay. But then I realized maybe you are feeling the same way I am lately-- that I've been working my ass off for people who basically don't give a shit what happens to them."Well, for one, I'm not so sure people don't give a shit but they are afraid to put their necks on the line for real change. For another, publication is not ceasing it's just not continuing on in the way it has in the past, is all. A welcome break and change and a morph to No Country For Sane Men (repaired link) is essential for everyone involved, especially me!
Sonar. But not the kind you're thinking of:
From the Environmental Notice Bulletin: Gipsy Trail Club in Kent: To control the spread of the invasive Eurasian watermilfoil, the applicant proposes to treat Pine Pond (Class B), including portions of the 100 foot adjacent areas of NYS Freshwater Wetlands LC-11 (Class II) and LC-12 (Class I) with the aquatic pesticides Sonar AS and Sonar One (active ingredient fluridone). Prior to treatment, Pine Pond will be lowered approximately 18 inches to ensure that chemically treated water is held within Pine Pond for as long as practicable prior to downstream release.
NY/NJTC Hike of the Week:
Charcoal Burners/Cabot/Perkins/Fahnestock Trail Loop
This loop hike traverses the northern section of the park, passing by three scenic ponds, following an attractive stream and skirting several open fields. At the height of the Yellow Trail as it traverses the Perkins open space is the best view in all of Putnam County. You'll not want to miss that!
What's Going On?
8:30PM at the Towne Crier, Route 22 in Pawling. Uncommon Ground is a hot, pan-genre, acoustic music group from New York's Hudson Valley that is on a mission: to flex the boundaries of traditional music. Since making an impressive debut to a full house at the Towne Crier in 2007, they have continued their evolution into "the complete package" ... great vocals, fiery instrumental abilities and a continually evolving repertoire of well-crafted tunes. Their music bears an unmistakable stamp of originality without losing the authenticity of the original sources. Audiences delight in the thrill of musical discovery as the band performs a repertoire that includes music from such diverse sources as Bill Monroe, Gabriel Faure, Venezuelan Choros and Gypsy Jazz. Uncommon Ground draws on the talents of Mike Kobetitsch, and Wayne Fugate, both long-time veterans of the Bluegrass scene who have performed with Grammy award winner, Lisa Gutkin and a host of other noteworthies; the ever amazing Rachel Han! dman and Phil Helm, two principles in the Hudson Valley Philharmonic whose technical precision, fertile inventiveness, surprising touches and mastery of the Bluegrass genre give the band a distinctive, signature voice; and Craig Bitterman, whose percussion lays down a groove-infused rhythmic foundation that adds colors and textures that make their tunes really snap. :|: artist's home. $17.50 advance/ $22.50 door
8:30 to 10:30am - Join Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary Director Eric Lind for this birding hike in Foundry Preserve in Cold Spring. An accomplished wildlife photographer, Eric is just the person you want along to share his knowledge as you walk from the village to view a wide variety of species. Don't forget your binoculars!
11 AM - 6 PM. POWWOW ON THE HUDSON: Native American Indian drumming, dancing, food vendors, craft vendors, lectures and songs by Evan Pritchard (plus book signing), Salinas Family "Azteca Dancers", Joseph Fire Crow and Birds Of Prey. Learn sustainability from a 10,000 year old perspective. Bowdoin Park, 85 Sheafe Rd., Wappinger Falls. Tony Moonhawk (917) 415-5139. firstname.lastname@example.org - Runs through Monday.
1 PM - 5PM - Over two hundred new works by forty artists will be on display in the 5th Annual Spring Art Exhibit, which conitnues through this weekend and Monday, 11PM - 5PM each day.
1PM - For children of all ages! Dancing at 2. Garden Tours, Hay Rides, Meet the new chicks (300 of them!!) Lemon aide and cookies. Also, the Farm Stand is Now Open with Many Varieties of Certified Organic Potted Plants from Ornamental Border Plants to Tomatoes and Many Other Vegetable, Flower and Herb Plants. Fresh Cut Vegetables are just beginning. Friend us at Face Book for an up to date Availability List at: Ryder Farm Organic Grower, 400 Starr Ridge Rd, Brewster, NY 10509. More information at www.RyderFarmOrganic.com or at Face Book: Ryder Farm Organic Grower - 845-279-4161
11AM - Brewster VFW Post 672 will be holding a Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony in downtown Brewster. The parade will start at 11am at the Brewster Firehouse on North Main Street and will proceed down Main Street to Railroad Ave., and end at Veterans Park. Following the parade there will be a ceremony with keynote speaker Congresswoman Nan Hayworth who just voted to extend the war in Afghanistan. For more information call 845/279-6969 or email email@example.com.
6PM - 8PM Paintings and Pastels. Opening reception: BRC Gallery at the Bean Runner Cafe 201 South Division Street Peekskill, NY 10566 www.beanrunnercafe.com Exhibition dates: May 30 to July 24, 2011
7PM: Michelle LeBlanc with Tom Kohl on piano at the The Division Street Grill, 26 North Division Street, Peekskill NY 10566. Call for dinner reservations: 914 739 6380 www.DivisionStreetGrill.com Join us for an evening in my favorite small city at the jazz club that sparked the Peekskill jazz renaissance.
Bear Mountain State Park: On June 4, the Trail Conference will open a wheelchair accessible section of the Appalachian Trail on the summit of Bear Mountain. For the past year, Trail Conference volunteers have been hard at work building this ADA-compliant segment of this historic and nationally celebrated long-distance trail. The trail will allow wheelchair users to enter the woods and view the Hudson River and Valley from one of the region’s most scenic spots.
Each year Friends of the Great Swamp leads canoe trips on the East Branch Croton River into one of the largest wetlands in New York State. Join us on one of these enjoyable adventures into the Great swamp and experience this beautiful and valuable resource for yourself. As we enter this magical wilderness we will explore the biodiversity and learn more about the values of this nationally significant wetland. The Swamp provides critical habitat for aquatic species as well as for migrating and breeding birds. We have seen Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Prothonotary Warblers and Common yellowthroats as well as Wood Duck, Mallards and many, many more. There are Turtles, Dragonflies, some fantastic plants and possibly catch a glimpse of a mink or a muskrat.
10AM - Fishkill Town Hall. Sponsored by the Dutchess Watershed and Cornell Cooperative Extension Services.
11AM - 5PM- The OCWA is pleased to announce that the 4th Annual Earth and Water Festival will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Montgomery, NY. This unique festival is family-friendly, intimate, educational and of course, lots of fun! Stay an hour or stay all day. Bring a blanket, the kids and even your dog and enjoy the fresh air, listen to live music and entertaining performances by highly talented local musicians and peformers. Visit the Green Expo area at the festival and learn from many local vendors how they are making a difference by being "green" or what sustainable goods and services they provide. Buy fresh homemade bread, baked goods, produce and plants in the Farmers Market. Let the kids run wild in the Children's Activity tent (big festival favorite).
2:30PM - 4PM Featuring Tom Kohl on piano and Bill Crow on bass. This free concert is open to the public. Ann Marie Parish, Event Coordinator for the Plaza has attended our concerts at Arts on the Lake in Kent NY and loves our sound We were glad to get her call, inviting us to perform for Plaza residents and the public. We will set up on their lovely patio overlooking the grounds. If rain is forecasted, we'll move inside. Join us for a lovely afternoon. The Plaza at Clover Lake, 838 Fair Street, Carmel NY 10512 Call 845-878-4111 for more information.
5:30PM - 8 PM - Mohonk Consultations, Inc Presents Laura Heady with its Distinguished Environmental Achievement Award As the 2011 winner of Mohonk Consultations' Environmental Award, Laura is a true campaigner for biodiversity in our neck of the woods. She served last year as the keynote speaker at our Forum on Biodiversity. Since 2006, Laura has been Biodiversity Outreach Coordinator for the NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program in partnership with Cornell University. She helps municipal and regional partners to integrate biodiversity and habitat protection into conservation plans, smart growth strategies, environmental planning and preservation.
Reservations are required for each of our events. Call 845-256-2726 to reserve and/ or to ask for an invitation to the Award Ceremony. If you would like to be placed on our mailing list, please call 845-256-2726 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Location: Mohonk Mountain House
7PM - New natural gas extraction technology has led to an increase in the exploration of organic-rich shale in the United States. In New York State, the Marcellus Shale formation has captured the public’s attention. Will gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale be a boon, providing cleaner domestic energy, or a bust, contaminating our air and water resources? Find out answers from Duke University’s Rob Jackson. His research captures the latest science on the impacts of shale-gas extraction and fracking.
8PM - Six new one-act plays from Tony Howarth's Playwright's Workshop. At the Cultural Center on Lake Carmel, Route 52 just south of the Route 311 Causeway.
8:30PM - The legendary Tannahill Weavers, one of Scotland's premier traditional bands, play a diverse repertoire that spans the centuries with fire-driven instrumentals, topical songs, original ballads and lullabies. Their music demonstrates to old and young alike the rich and varied musical heritage of the Celtic people. These versatile musicians consistently garner worldwide accolades for their exuberant performances and outstanding recording efforts that seemingly can't get better ...yet continue to do just that. "An especially eloquent mixture of the old and the new." -New York Times; "Scotland's Tannahill Weavers play acoustic instruments, but the atmosphere at their shows is electric! The quintet is as tight and as versatile as any band in the Celtic music revival. They can summon rock 'n' roll intensity or haunting introspection." -The Boston Globe; "...as close to perfect as it gets in an imperfect world." -Sing Out! At the Towne Crier Cafe - $30 advance/ $35 door
With over 400 attendees and all campsites filled, last year's event was our most successful ever. Reserve early to make sure you and your family can join the fun this year!
7:30pm Aztec Two Step comes to Belle Levine! These guys have been mesmerizing audiences for over 40 years and our Gallery is the ultimate intimate setting! Tickets are only $35./30. for members and reservations are requested. At the Putnam Arts Council, Mahopac.
8PM - Six new one-act plays from Tony Howarth's Playwright's Workshop. Plays by Pat O'Connor, Gabby Fox and Carol Mark, directed by Tony Howarth. At the Cultural Center on Lake Carmel, Route 52 just south of the Route 311 Causeway. See Above for More Information.
Croton Point Park - Pete Seeger star Drive-By Truckers star Martin Sexton star Indigo Girls, Arlo Guthrie star Josh Ritter star Jorma Kaukonen star Peter Yarrow, John Sebastian star Janis Ian star The Low Anthem, Red Horse (Lucy Kaplansky, John Gorka & Eliza Gilkyson) star The Klezmatics, Toubab Krewe star Justin Townes Earle star Chris, Smither star Joanne Shenandoah, Tom Chapin star Bernice Johnson Reagon star Dan Zanes & Elizabeth Mitchell, James McMurtry | Jay Ungar & Molly Mason | Jeffrey Broussard & The Creole Cowboys, Tao Seeger Band | Toshi Reagon & Big Lovely | Mike & Ruthy | Sarah Lee & Johnny, Bethany & Rufus' Roots Quartet | Clayfoot Strutters | Zlatne Uste | Joe Purdy, The Nields | The Kennedys | Jen Chapin | K.J. Denhert | Zon del Barrio, Vanaver Caravan| Buskin & Batteau | Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy, Brooklyn Qawwali Party | Joe D'urso | Joel Plaskett, Arm-of-the-Sea Theater star The Power of Song star The Rivertown Kids, Mustard's Retreat star Magpie star Roger the Jester star Dog on Fleas, Walkabout Clearwater Chorus star Paul Richmond star The Storycrafters, Rick Nestler star Donna Nestler star Travis Jeffrey star Margo Thunderbird, Marva Clark star Linda Richards star Eshu Bumpus star Dan Einbender, Dirty Stay Out Skifflers star Geoff Kaufman star Sarah Underhill star Peninnah Schram, Kay Olan/Ionataiewas star Mel & Vinnie star Karen Pillsworth star Gregorio Pedroza , Allan Aunapu star Jan Christensen star The New York Packet star Matt Turk star Hope Machine
7:30PM - A screening & discussion with the Director/Producer/Filmmaker – Karen Person presented by The Schoolhouse and the Putnam Arts Council. Join us as we return to 1969 with Buzz Aldrin as he unfolds the story of Apollo 11 landing on the Moon and provides insight and context to this historic event. The film reflects the space program of that era, its triumphs and tragedies, and documents the culmination of an young, optimistic President’s promise. Film to be screened in the Schoolhouse Theater – 3 Owens Rd., Croton Falls, NY Tickets $10 which includes light refreshments. Reservations recommended – 914.277.8477(Schoolhouse) or 845.803.8622 (PAC).
8:30PM - Folk-pop artist Sloan Wainwright belongs to a musical dynasty of impossibly gifted singer-songwriters. Her family tree (brother and folk-music luminary Loudon Wainwright, sister-in-law Kate McGarrigle, nephew Rufus Wainwright, nieces Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche) reads like a who's who of contemporary folk music. Sloan's incredible gift is not only her unique songwriting ability but her dramatically voiced rendition of her original songs. "She's folk-influenced, obviously (you can't grow up in the First Family of Folk and not be, one imagines), but the real star here is her voice. Warm and smoky and smooth, it makes her earthy, ominous lyrics seem all the more intense." Defying standard categorization, singer/songwriter Sloan Wainwright consistently demonstrates her easy command of a variety of American musical styles --pop, folk, jazz and blues-- held together by the melodious tone of her rich contralto. The end result, a un! ique and soulful hybrid. "A lot of singer-songwriters are whitebread. Sloan is whole grain." -WFMT Radio, Rich Warren; "...Sloan Wainwright, whose regal voice could fell a redwood." -The Boston Globe; "...earth mother voice that she pours into unexpectedly sensitive blends of folk, jazz, blues and funk." -The New York Times $25 advance/ $30 door At the Towne Crier Cafe
5PM - In celebration of Creek Week and Dutchess County Watershed Awareness Month the Cary Institute and Cornell Cooperative Extension will host an interpretive hike along the Wappinger Creek Trail. This family friendly event will engage children and adults in hands-on activities. Participants will sample macro-invertebrates and learn about water quality issues. Wear sturdy waterproof shoes and bring your camera and drinking water. To RSVP please visit http://carywappingercreekwalk.eventbrite.com/?ref=ebtn. Location: Cary East (Gifford House) parking area, located at 2917 Sharon Turnpike (Rte. 44) in Millbrook, N.Y.
1PM - 6PM - Help us celebrate the opening of this new and improved Hudson Riverfront park in high style. Take to the water on a free kayak paddle, try out a new bike on the Klara Sauer Trail, join a guided tour of exciting park features, including Scenic Hudson’s River Center, our new venue for arts and environmental activities. If that’s not enough, you can test your mettle at hula-hooping and enjoy a great lineup of live performers—all while admiring magnificent Hudson River vistas.
7PM - Climatologist Dr. Michael Mann will review the evidence for human influence on the climate, including measurements available for the past two centuries and paleoclimate observations spanning more than a millennium. He will also address how climate change will influence the world we live in, from sea level rise and severe weather to changes in the water supply. His lecture will conclude with a frank discussion about possible solutions to the climate change. A key contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Dr. Mann is author of more than 130 peer-reviewed and edited publications, and recently co-authored the book “Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming” with colleague Lee Kump. He is also a co-founder and avid contributor to the award-winning science website www.realclimate.org. Location: Cary Institute's auditorium, located at 2801 Sharon Turnpike (Route 44) in Millbrook, New York.
Seaside Park, Bridgeport, CT - Gathering of the Vibes, the Northeast’s acclaimed music festival destination, will “bring the magic” once again with a 4-day extravaganza of eclectic music, arts and community, July 21-24, 2011 at Connecticut’s magnificent Seaside Park. The rumor mill is swirling with artist announcements around the corner. Gathering of the Vibes promises its most spectacular and diverse lineup to date, delivering over 40 hours of music on multiple stages. Powerhouse Vibes alumni include: The Allman Brothers, Crosby Stills & Nash, Furthur with Phil Lesh & Bob Weir, James Brown, The Black Crowes, and Damian Marley and Nas, alongside breakout acts like Umphrey’s McGee, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Jackie Greene, and tri-state favorites The McLovins. The Vibes also warmly embraces new, virtually unknown artists, who may submit music for consideration through sonic bids.
Copyright © 2011 News That Matters
Friday, May 27, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
|News That Matters |
Brought to you (Almost Daily) by PlanPutnam.Org
Telling it like it is for 10 years and counting...
|Contact Us | Shop Putnam | Putnam Outdoors | RSS Feed | Visit the Blog | Visit our Sponsor | Donate | Blogsite | Events|
|Good Wednesday Morning, |
Folks, suck up all the news you can this issue because News That Matters is coming to an end, at least in its present format. After more than a decade of pounding out these columns it's long past time to give it a break.
News That Matters has always gone beyond the "he said, she said" tradition and has spent the last decade telling the story of "why" and that's made you, the near-1000 readers of this little rag, better educated.
YOU were there, as readers, contributors and donors.
There are enough local news sources now: What with the two Faux News papers book-ending the county, Philipstown.info taking a brave stand over there in Ailesland, the Examiner pushing up from the south, the Republican Press/Times making inroads in the center under Marty Collins, the new Pennysaver from Chase Media and the AOL/Patch news down there in Southeast, the county is pretty well covered. Oh, and we can't forget the NY Journal News from which I've been banned for years.
That these other media outlets rarely ever examine why someone has taken a particular position is a terrible loss to the betterment of our communities. It furthers the decline of journalism both in broadcast and in print. Simply reporting what he said - and what she said - may be politically correct but it sustains two possible lies as fact on which you are then forced to rely to make decisions about issues. That's no way to run a modern society but it has become the American Way(tm) and you seem to like it.
Grab the local newspaper of your choice and get their phone numbers and email addresses. Then make those papers take the up the responsibility of being journalists, not just mindless 'he said - she said' reporters. There's real news out there if they, like we have done, chose to cover it.
And that's just the half of it.
What we see at the local level is a tiny fragment of what's going on across this land. That the American media is controlled by corporations is stunningly obvious and that they play to the lowest common denominator is expected. Neither the corporations nor the political parties they control have any need for an intelligentsia and for people who ask, "why?" And they sideline, debase and ridicule anyone who dares to question the status quo - like we've been doing for years.
Joe Sixpack is told to believe that it's okay for Exxon to earn $10.7 billion every 90 days. He's told that it's perfectly alright for a man to earn millions while his company victimizes the middle classes. He's told that those who cannot afford to see a doctor somehow deserve their position. He's told that raping our nation of its natural resources for immediate profit is a good thing. He's told that one day he will find the American Dream come true but only if he follows the rules and obeys his corporate and political
The truth is, Joe doesn't believe a word of it; but there is the chance it's true and he's not going to miss out. And if in the end he doesn't find that dream, as most will surely not, then it's not the corporations' and politicians' or even his fault, it's the immigrants or the welfare queens or teachers or the unions or the pedophile down the street. And he makes himself believe it because the truth is too awful to consider: There is a vast, forced transfer of wealth from the lower classes to the rich that is unparalleled in human history and the American media is directly complicit and an active participant.
You see, it's not alright for Exxon (and the others, mind you) to hold the national economy hostage. And it's not acceptable for a man to earn millions while his company forecloses thousands of properties putting his neighbors out on the street. And if you cannot afford health care it's because no one really can anymore. And it's not alright to leave our grandchildren a planet stripped of its natural resources. So why does the American media ignore all this? Well, for one... who owns them? And while we're there, who owns Congress. Don't you see the connection?
Anyway... With the end of this vehicle someone else is going to have to wear the mantle of the only independent media outlet in the region and I wish them well. It is a thankless job.
News That Matters will still be around as the transition is made so stay tuned, there is more coming, we're just winding down.
In the meantime, look for "No Country For Sane Men: One Man's Journey Into the Mind of America", coming to a computer screen near you soon. It will be no less irreverent, maddening, infuriating and educational. Just different.
Subscription links are here:
Help Secure Marriage Equality in New York State
New York bar groups endorse same-sex marriage bill
NEW YORK, May 17 (Reuters) - Representatives of more than 20 bar associations made a legal case for passing same-sex marriage legislation in New York on Tuesday, arguing that anything less than full marriage equality relegates same-sex couples to second-class status.
The announcement comes as a growing number of political figures, business leaders and celebrities are stumping for a same-sex marriage bill in Albany before the end of the current legislative session on June 20.
As part of that push, the bar groups -- ranging from the New York State Bar Association, which represents 77,000 attorneys, to the Metropolitan Black Bar Association -- endorsed a bill introduced recently by Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell that would grant civil marriage rights to same-sex couples.
"We think the time is right in Albany for consideration of this in the legislature," said Samuel Seymour, president of the New York City Bar Association and a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell. "We can't predict the outcome, but we're here to do what we can to make it happen."
The groups share their goal with Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has made passage of a same-sex marriage bill one of his top priorities in the current session, despite uncertain support in the Republican-controlled Senate. A bill similar to Assemblyman O'Donnell's passed the Assembly in 2009, but fell short in the Senate.
Adding to the uncertainty, the bar groups contend, is a pair of New York Court of Appeals decisions that has left same-sex couples in legal limbo. In a 2006 decision, Hernandez v. Robles, the court found no statutory right to same-sex marriage. But in 2008, it ruled in Martinez v. City of Munroe that same-sex couples legally married in foreign jurisdictions were entitled to have their unions recognized in New York.
The result, according to State Bar Association president Stephen Younger, a partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, is that "you can be married in New York, you just can't get married in New York."
Without a legislative change, the groups said Tuesday, there is a risk of increased litigation, as well as regulatory and legislative confusion as courts, employers and others attempt to navigate the legal patchwork of state and federal marriage and civil-union laws.
Currently in New York, unmarried same-sex couples are denied at least 1,324 legal rights and duties afforded to heterosexual couples, including spousal privilege, inheritance rights and child custody, according to a report from the city bar association.
Legalizing only civil unions would not solve the problem, they argued, pointing to states such as Vermont and New Jersey, where they say legalized civil unions are poorly understood and erratically recognized. And if the federal Defense of Marriage Act is ultimately overturned, couples in civil unions would miss out on the legal rights marriage confers, they added.
Currently, five states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage, as do ten countries, including Canada.
Although the state bar association has been hesitant in the past to speak out on such a politically charged issue, Younger said the tide has turned among the state bar's diverse membership, mirroring steadily increasing public support for marriage equality. A poll released this month by the Pew Research Center found 45 percent of Americans now support gay marriage, up from 35 percent in April 2009.
"It's time to galvanize that support," Younger said.
In addition to state and city bar associations, a number of bar groups representing minority groups were on hand to offer their endorsements, including the Hispanic National Bar Association, the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York and the Puerto Rican Bar Association.
Adeel Mangi, director of the Muslim Bar Association of New York and a partner at Patterson Belknap, said that his group decided to support same-sex marriage to promote access for all to "fundamental civil rights" like marriage.
"As lawyers, we believe strongly that this is a civil rights issue," Mangi said.
Under the O'Donnell bill, religious officials would not be required to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony if they objected on moral grounds.
Maggie Gallagher, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, or NOM, which opposes same-sex marriage, said it was her group's position that it is up to state legislatures to define marriage. NOM is not opposed to legalizing civil unions, she added, although many same-sex opponents have rejected the idea.
"It's not my position that it's okay to discriminate, but marriage isn't discrimination," Gallagher said. "It's okay to treat different relationships differently."
(Reporting by Jessica Dye)
Copyright © 2011 News That Matters