Vanessa Williams is a New Yorker for Marriage Equality

by HRC Staff

Washington– Actress and Grammy Award winner and native New Yorker Vanessa Williams has released a video with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to support the group’s New Yorkers for Marriage Equality Campaign. In the video, Williams proudly states “I’m a New Yorker for Marriage Equality.”   The video can be viewed at

“Vanessa Williams has been breaking down barriers for most of her life,” said HRC’s Senior Strategist for New York, Brian Ellner. “We’re grateful that she’s speaking out for our campaign, especially now that we’re so close to a vote in the legislature."

Williams was the first African-American to win the title of Miss America, having competed in the pageant as Miss New York.  She has been nominated for Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Awards, winning the latter for her song, Colors of the Wind.  She currently stars as Renée Perry on ABC’s Desperate Housewives.

A recent poll by New York-based Siena Research Institute shows a strong majority (58 percent) of New Yorkers support marriage equality. This support runs deep, including all age groups and demographics, including a virtual tie among Republicans and a significant plurality of Independent voters.

The New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign is centered on video testimonials from New Yorkers who support the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry. To date, HRC has released videos from Vanessa Williams, Tom DiNapoli, NBA star Steve Nash, New York Rangers’ Sean Avery, Miss New York, Anna Wintour, Larry King, Julianna Margulies, Bill T. Jones, Sam Waterston, Christopher Meloni, Mario Batali, David Chang, Tom Colicchio, Lucy Liu, Bill Bratton and Rikki Klieman, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Former New York City Mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins, Russell Simmons, Mark and Sunrise Ruffalo, John Slattery, Joan Rivers, Barbara Bush, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon, Fran Drescher, Moby, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, Julianne Moore and Kenneth Cole – with more to follow in the coming weeks.

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.

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