HRC Blog

Miss New York on Equality: “It’s Just the Right Thing to Do”

Miss New York, Claire Buffie, stopped by HRC this week to film an ad for the “New Yorkers for Marriage Equality” campaign and meet with HRC staff. Buffie also competed for Miss America 2011, placing in the Top 12 – voted into the finals by viewers through the America’s Choice feature of the competition. Buffie’s platform is “Straight for Equality: Let’s Talk,” and she is the first beauty pageant contestant to center her work around LGBT equality.

For Buffie, it’s a natural issue to focus on – her older sister is a lesbian. She advocates for a wide-range of LGBT issues and is a PFLAG executive board member.

“It’s just the right thing to do,” Buffie says when talking about her advocacy work on LGBT equality. “I’m presenting this as an issue of dignity, respect and fairness.”

Part of her work also includes the often-difficult task of broaching LGBT equality and acceptance with more conservative audiences. Buffie stresses respectful dialogue in what can sometimes be awkward exchanges. “You’re not going to grow to open up to or agree with something unless you talk about it,” says Buffie.

Buffie’s “New Yorkers for Marriage Equality” video will be released in the coming weeks. Buffie is the latest in a series of prominent New Yorkers to speak out for marriage equality. She joins former Mayors David Dinkins and Ed Koch, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Barbara Bush, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, Kenneth Cole and Julianne Moore.

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