On December 2, 2009, the marriage equality bill, introduced by New York Governor David A. Paterson, sponsored by Senator Thomas K. Duane, and already passed three times by the Assembly, went down to defeat. One thing that was clear in the aftermath was that the governor, Duane and marriage equality advocates, would need to work hand in glove with Democratic Conference leader John Sampson of Brooklyn in whipping the vote.
In a December 10, 2009 op-ed article for Gay City News entitled, "Knocking Down the Door, " Senator Sampson made the case for marriage equality being "the most significant equal rights movement of this generation." He compared the struggle for the freedom to marry to the women's suffrage and civil rights movements, pointing out that neither achieved victory quickly. In the end, he asserted, same-sex couples will enjoy full marriage rights:
Each and every tomorrow will bring us closer to the equality we seek with outstretched arms, determination in our eyes, and faith in our heart. I remain personally committed to marriage equality and will continue to dedicate the full spectrum of my energies to making marriage equality a reality in the state of New York. [Link]Freedom to Marry salutes NY state Senator John Sampson as a Voice for Equality. In evoking civil rights history, language and parallels, the leader of the New York Democratic Conference has now clearly committed to passing the marriage bill, and will be accountable to do so by January 2011 or sooner.
If Senator Sampson's support inspires you - get involved.
**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!