Coming Out for Marriage Equality in New York!
May 11, 2011 by Adrian Matanza, Regional Field Director
GUEST POST: The following post comes from Mike Manning. Mike lent his voice to the Campaign for New York Marriage and joined organizers on the ground to help make marriage equality a reality.
This weekend, I joined up with the organizers in New York working to make marriage equality for all New Yorkers a reality. After touching ground on Thursday morning, we went right to SUNY Stony Brook, HRC Field Director Marty Rouse’s alma mater. Since working for HRC on MTV, I’ve been traveling to college campuses across the country talking to students about getting involved with politics, specifically the LGBT civil rights movement. This time, it was even more specific: marriage equality for all New Yorkers is close to passage and EVERY vote is crucial to making it a reality!!
On campus, we collected postcards and made phone calls to send to New York State Senators. The students were receptive to our message and signed up to get involved on campus and elsewhere. After our great event in Stony Brook, we joined New Yorkers United for Marriage to help kick off their phone banks in Manhattan. Chelsea Clinton also came to lend her support for marriage equality, which was awesome. She made phone calls right alongside us and took the time to thank each of us for what we’re doing.
Friday, we continued our campus tour at College of Staten Island and then at Hofstra University. Again, packs of students came out to write letters and call their state senators. At College of Staten Island, students and staff attended speeches, listened to our messages, and got involved. One professor in particular, a professor of English and the Theater Director, spent some time after the speech to tell me of her own experiences with students and couples deprived of equal rights. I told her that I was happy to lend my voice to the movement because, in my opinion, this is one of the "defining issues" of our time.
We wrapped up the weekend in Howard Beach, Queens where we met up with HRC’s New York City organizers and a couple of volunteers. We ran into many supportive people on the street and even in a hair salon, blow dryers and all! This work is important and I am happy to do what I can to make sure New York does the right thing. Join me and lend your voice to making marriage equality in New York a reality. If you’re in New York and want to get involved, contact my friend Adrian Matanza at Adrian.Matanza@hrc.org.
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