Log Cabin Applauds Passage of Marriage Equality Bill in New York State Assembly
Log Cabin Played Important Role in Gaining GOP Support
(Albany, NY) – Log Cabin Republicans applaud the passage of a marriage equality bill in the New York State Assembly Tuesday. "This is a proud and historic day for New Yorkers," said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. "We thank all those lawmakers who put fairness over politics and courageously supported this bill."
Log Cabin-New York played a critical role in helping to get several Republicans to vote for this historic piece of legislation. Log Cabin-New York worked hard to secure the bill's first Republican cosponsor, Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward (North Country), and held over one hundred meetings with legislative offices. Sayward joins Republicans Joel Miller (Hudson Valley), Mike Spano (Hudson Valley) and Dede Scozzafava (North Country) who all voted for marriage equality.
During the debate, Sayward gave a passionate speech for marriage equality, drawing on her experience as the mother of a gay son. "My son didn't want to be different. Lord knows he wanted to change," said Sayward. "It is not a life choice. My God loves my son. And as sure as I'm standing here tonight, this is certainly not for me, or should it be for any of us, anything other than a civil rights issue."
"This is a great day for New York," said Log Cabin-New York President David Verchere. "Thanks to the hard work of Log Cabin members on the ground, a growing number of Republican lawmakers are recognizing that marriage matters. We understand this is a long educational process and we're encouraged by this breakthrough vote."
"Marriage equality is a mainstream issue," said Sammon, who lobbied Republican lawmakers on the marriage equality bill in Albany earlier this month. "New York is surrounded by states recognizing gay and lesbian families, from marriage in Massachusetts to civil unions in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Vermont."
The 85-61 vote by the New York State Assembly comes after Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer introduced a program bill that would grant committed gay and lesbian couples all of the rights and responsibilities of marriage under state law. The legislation faces an uphill battle in the State Senate.
"Log Cabin is committed to continuing to educate New Yorkers about why all families deserve to be treated equally," said Sammon.