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“I think there will be an awful lot of pressure on people that need the Conservative endorsement, and there’s going to be an awful lot of pressure on people who maybe in their hearts would like to vote in the affirmative on this issue. The way I cast my vote could determine the fate of gay marriage in New York state.”
Friends and Readers, lend me your eyes!
It wasn't that long ago that The Senator Who Shall Not Be Named told Human Rights Campaign that he would vote for Marriage Equality if there was support for it within the 40th Senate District.
And it wasn't all that longer ago that he said he would *never* vote for civil rights. So something has changed!
When former Senator Leibell voted against Marriage Equality last time around he said that he was personally in favor but his NO vote was a political deal cut by the Senate leadership. In other words, civil rights fell to politics.
Now it's time again and there's a good chance we can win but you're going to have to get involved and work and get active and win over the Senator Who Shall Not Be Named.
The World Will End!
Did the World End when Connecticut passed Marriage Equality in 2008? Has Hawaii fallen into the sea? Was California washed away in a flood of Mormons? (well, yes, but they've largely left). Is Iowa still a state of the Union? How about Massachusetts? It's still there - and they have state-wide health care. Illinois! Even Live Free Or Die New Hampshire has decided to live up to their motto. New Jersey, aside from the yucky places near Staten Island, is still the garden state. And the Green Mountain State is still green and mountainous. Even the Coquille tribe in Oregon is on the bandwagon. So as you can see the world did not end in any of those places.
The World Will Still End!
You mean, if we achieve Marriage Equality your priest will be forced to perform a religious ceremony for guys wearing dresses or women in coveralls? Where did you ever get that from?
We're not talking religion here, we're talking full civil rights for a segment of the population that is not exactly as small as we here in Putnam County would like to think. But your pastor or minister is free to refrain: it's your town clerk we're after (and they get to collect yet another fee!)
The World Will Still, Still End!
Eh. You liberals are trying just to undermine the family!
Oh yeah? Well, many of us were alive back in the day when it was against the law for whites to marry blacks... remember that? Oh yeah! Now you do. So that's changed. And how many wives did King Solomon have? Seven Hundred wives and 300 concubines - and he's in the bible! The Church of Latter Day Saints, the nation's fastest growing religion, sanctioned - based on the bible - multiple wives and though they said, "we were just kidding!" in order to gain statehood for Utah...well, they ain't talking much about it these days. And the divorce rate in this state... yikes! Is that the traditional "till death do us part," part?
Well then, you're going to ruin traditional marriage!
Is that the traditional marriage where the woman swears before god and everyone to "obey" her master, er, husband? Is that the traditional marriage when the woman could own little or no property? Maybe that's the tradition that required she not be of a different color or religion? Or that she stay home and take care of the kiddies then dress up sweet for you when you get home with a dry martini in her left hand and your slippers in her right? Is that the tradition you're talking about? Or maybe it was about separate beds?
I wasn't really thinking about those traditions...
Oh, the thing about one man and one woman? That's a religious issue and, as noted elsewhere, you're free to stick to that all you want. But here we're talking about civil law, not biblical law and the last time I checked the Constitution (which was not written by Moses by the way,) guaranteed equal rights under the law for all Americans. Not just hetero-couples, but all Americans... unless you really want to be traditional and remember that our founders mentioned that "all men were created equal," and thus women need not apply.
As you can see, things change and the world didn't end.
The World Will Still, Still, Still End!
In an article in the NY Times on April 28th, business leaders across the region stated they supported Marriage Equality. Morgan Stanley chairman John Mack said that he believed Marriage Equality would attract more business talent to New York state. Real Estate developer Jerry Speyer supports it. Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs supports it. Mayor Bloomberg supports it. Governor Cuomo supports it. And why not?
The comptroller of New York City says that Marriage Equality could bring as much as $184 million dollars to businesses across the state and in this recession who could possibly say no to that? Imagine the joy on the face of the Putnam County Legislature when their sales tax receipts have increased? Isn't that worth something?
How many affairs would take place at Villa Barrone or other restaurants and catering halls? How many florists and catering companies would find themselves just a little busier. How many more homes would be sold or apartments rented or how many more talented business people would be moving into the area if New York were to achieve this goal?
So, What To Do?
Lobby. Work. Get Involved. Get Active.
Human Rights Campaign is asking people to make phone calls to the Senator's local office indicating their support for this issue. If you'd like to call the number is 845-279-3773. Tell the staffer your name and town and that you expect The Senator to vote for Marriage Equality when the bill comes up later this month.
Best time to call? During the day!
I'm a fan of letters as they give the Senator's Staff something tangible to work with. Hand written is best but typed up and signed by hand works just as well.
It doesn't have to be long or involved, you don't have to pour out your heart unless you feel so inclined. And you don't have to counter any arguments from those who think that women belong barefoot and preggers either: Just state your case, the case for equal rights and the case for New York.
Here's a sample:
Then slap 44 cents on it and you're good to go!
Here's the address:
Could It Be Any Easier?
No, it could not. But you're going to have to do it and get two or three of your friends to do it too. Save the massive emails blasts and go through your address book carefully and send a note to those you know are a tad lazy... let's get them working too.
We have an opportunity this year to make one of the most important decisions New Yorkers have made in a long time and believe it or not, it may very well end up with the Senator Who Shall Not Be Named being in a position to make that historic decision. Let's make sure he makes the right one.
Get up, get active and let's get this job done!
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