June 27, 2011
New York State Votes for Marriage Equality
When the New York Senate announced late Friday evening its decision to allow same-sex marriage in the state of New York, I burst into tears. Seriously. I am not sure my friends knew what was happening when I checked my phone and instantly began to cry while trying to convey to everyone around me: "It passed! It passed!" It took them a minute to figure it out, and then there were hugs all around.
In an incredibly close vote (33-29) the majority of Democrats and a few brave Republicans passed the Marriage Equality act into law. I am not sure how purposeful the timing was, but it serendipitously aligned with the anniversary of the Stonewall Riot and the New York City Gay Pride Parade. An amazingly festive and colorful weekend.
Despite my exhaustion from the long day of waiting for the Senate to make a decision, I was wired and ready to celebrate. My boyfriend and I decided to take a trip to a local bar for a drink and a l'chiam with friends. After leaving the bar, we stopped by a local Duane Reade for a 2am purchase of rainbow nail polish. I spent the rest of the weekend sporting rainbow nails, tie dye shirts, a Deathly Hallows necklace (to represent my favorite gay wizard, of course!) and flowers in my hair. New York was a party.
The Pride weekend was complete with a spectacular parade down 5th avenue. All the usual floats, dancers, signs, with some tear-inducing additions. I saw hundreds of "Thank You" signs to Governor Cuomo, and more personal signs like "Engaged for 30 years. Now we're finally getting married". There was also an adorable couple walking beneath a rainbow chupah (Jewish marriage canopy).
I can't believe it took this long to pass, but now that it has, I can now say without any reservation that I am a proud New Yorker. Thank you, Governor Cuomo, and those senators that helped our dream come true. To the remaining Republicans and Democrat, I hope you soon see that you are on the wrong side of history. Love is what makes the world a better place. How dare you think that you can deny fellow human beings the right to love and marriage. Those of us who do believe in human rights must continue the fight for equality in the rest of the United States and the world. It's not easy, but it's certainly not impossible. New York is a big win. As Governor Cuomo said: "The other states look to New York for the progressive direction... What we said today is, you look to New York once again. New York made a powerful statement, not just for the people of New York, but for people all across this nation."