Friday, June 24, 2011

Statement from Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer & Dan Hendrick on Marriage Equality

"Today, New York made history.

"By lifting this barrier to equal rights, our state has made a clear and forceful declaration that there must be no second-class New Yorkers.

"Today has been a day when our greatest ideals were on display – ideals like 'liberty and justice for all' and the unshakable belief that 'all men are created equal.’

"This struggle has been long, and change is always difficult. We are proud that New York has debated this issue in an atmosphere of respect. But as evidenced today, the march toward greater freedom and fairness, toward true equality under the law, cannot be stopped until all of us are truly free.

"There was another kind of history made today as well – the kind recorded not in history books, but in family photographs and genealogies.

"For too long, gay and lesbian couples like us were forced to live in the shadows. No matter how long we lived together, no matter how much we loved each other, no matter how committed we were to one another, gay and lesbian relationships rested on a legal house of cards under New York law.

"Today, at last, our state government has caught up with the truth that our families, colleagues and neighbors have long known: GLBT citizens deserve the same rights, recognition and respect as every other New Yorker.

"This historic moment may never have arrived in New York if it weren’t for the leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo. History will recall his courage and determined support, along with that of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and those Assembly Members and Senators who stood up for what is right, particularly Senator Tom Duane and Assembly Members Danny O’Donnell and Deborah Glick.

"With today’s vote, New York has reclaimed its proper role as a beacon for civil rights and equality – a proud example that we hope may inspire our federal government and state governments around the country to follow suit."

--Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer & Dan Hendrick, Sunnyside, NY