HRC Blog

HRC and Broad Statewide Coalition Meet in Albany to Discuss New York’s 2011 Road to Marriage

On January 22nd, the Human Rights Campaign, along with the Empire State Pride Agenda, Marriage Equality NY and other state and national organizations,  co-sponsored a marriage forum for grasstop leaders in Albany to discuss this year’s road to marriage in New York. 

HRC’s Brian Ellner, Rebecca Tillet, Patty Ellis and I all traveled to Albany to attend Saturday’s marriage discussion. With the political climate ripe for marriage, HRC is doing everything it can to ensure we secure the votes we need to finally make marriage a reality for all New Yorkers. I am optimistic that this is the year we will finally end discrimination against same-sex couples in the Empire State.

In preparation for the marriage discussion, the Human Rights Campaign worked with a broad coalition - the Empire State Pride Agenda , Marriage Equality NY, Freedom to Marry, the offices of New York State Senator Tom Duane, Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Governor Cuomo,  and the New York State LGB Legislative Caucus (including Assembly Members Deborah Glick, Matthew Titone, Micah Kellner, and Harry Bronson) – to gather leaders from across the state to discuss our coordinated efforts. I was especially pleased to see our friends from western New York make the trip, including Brian Ball and Kitty Lambert who I had the pleasure of working with in Buffalo during the past election cycle to elect state Senator Tim Kennedy.

I was also very happy to have the chance to finally meet some of the people that I have worked with across the state for years but never had the opportunity to meet in person. Everyone agrees that the time is now to finally end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and to treat ALL residents of New York with the same dignity and respect. The Human Rights Campaign, with seven of us deployed throughout the state, is determined to chip away at discrimination and inequality by finally passing a marriage equality bill and adding gender identity to the state’s nondiscrimination laws in 2011.  Saturday’s meeting with statewide grasstops was just the beginning of a coordinated effort to send a strong message that LGBT civil rights should be among the highest of priorities in New York this legislative session; we will make sure of it. To get involved in HRC’s New York Campaign for Marriage, please contact me at 202 330 3790 or email me at

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