Washington– On the news that Washington State Gov. Christine Gregoire and New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo both voiced their strong support for marriage equality today, Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, issued the following statement:
“From coast to coast, more and more Americans are coming to appreciate the values they share with committed gay and lesbian couples: the desire to love, honor and protect the person they love. By voicing their strong support for marriage equality, Governors Gregoire and Cuomo propel this issue forward. They confirm what most Americans already believe: committed gay and lesbian couples deserve the ability to marry and establish families protected by law.”
Gov. Gregoire today voiced her support for marriage equality legislation that will soon be introduced in Washington State. New York State passed similar legislation last year, and today, Governor Cuomo listed it as one of his top accomplishments for 2011 in his annual “State of the State” address. Governor Cuomo said that prior to the passage of this legislation, gay and lesbian New Yorkers were treated as “second-class citizens by the government.”
It’s notable that both Governors are Catholics – a group that supports legal recognition of gay and lesbian couples by wide margins. According to the Public Religion Research Institute, Catholics are more supportive of legal recognition of gay couples than members of any other Christian tradition. On the issue of allowing lesbian and gay couples to get a civil marriage license at city hall, 71 percent of American Catholics say they are in favor.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.