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Tag: Marriage Equality

200 Million Dollars To Help During Rough Financial Times

By NYSYD Communications Director Jenni Royer

In this difficult financial time that has New York State government gripped in disagreement and disarray, there are few paths that lead out of the darkness.  Yes, there must be reform in many areas – especially in Medicaid which not only burdens the state, but many localities – especially county governments.

In the face of daunting fiscal challenges – governments usually only have two options: to raise taxes or to make cuts to programs and services.  Neither of these are attractive solutions during a major recession which has everyone feeling the pain.  There is however, a third option…

New York State needs to find new revenue sources.  While the natural gas boom is on hold due to the potential environmental dangers it could cause without expensive oversight – there is a new revenue stream which has been ignored by many elected officials.

This new revenue stream would not hurt anyone, well it might hurt some feelings of pundits, but nonetheless – it is not dangerous to the environment or to our finances.  It will make families stronger and safer despite the fear-based lies which have been sowed and it will help our state rebound by bringing in 1/6th of what the State Legislature cut in December of 2009.

What is this new revenue stream which would bring in around 200 million dollars to New York State and its local governments?

Marriage Equality!

Former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson released a report in 2007 that showed that same sex marriage would bring in new revenue through taxes and fees of around 200 million dollars.  Since the state already recognizes same sex marriages performed in other states by Executive Order of the Governor – the state stands only to gain from allowing same sex marriage.  See the following figure from Former Comptroller Thompson’s report:


For too long have untrue and hate/fear-filled rhetoric have controlled the debate.  It has been shown in other states that allowing homosexuals to marry is not a slippery slope and it will not unravel both society and the law.  It is time to look straight at the logic of the situation.  Laws which do not recognize the relationships between certain members of our society detrimentally affect those citizens both in their need and right to belong within society, their pursuit of happiness and their need to lead healthy lives.  Marriage is the basis whereby families gain legitimacy and safety under the law.  When one is safe – one has the ability to flourish, to grow – to follow the American dream and be all that one can possibly be.

In this time of fiscal upheaval – we need families to feel safe.  We need them to feel safe enough to invest in new homes, in education for their children, in their ability to provide for their children and the person they love after they die.  In no way does this harm anyone – it can only bring forth benefits which have too long been ignored.  Marriage is a legal basis for fiscal stability.  It can only benefit our communities while it fiscally benefits our state and municipalities.  By allowing the thousands of same sex couples in our state the right to find legitimacy under the law in marriage – by giving our neighbors, our coworkers, our family and friends the rights which should be afforded to all citizens of our great nation – that is the first step towards turning the tide.

We need to mobilize young adults in this state to spread the knowledge that this is much more than just a civil rights issue; it is also a fiscally responsible move for the state.  We need to make sure that every elected official knows that financial stability is the basis of marriage and now, more than ever, we need every constituent in our state to feel financially stable.  Through allowing all people the right to marry, regardless of their sexual preference, we create a foundation to let all families in our state grow and flourish.  Together we can stand…or divided we can fall.

So with a $7 billion dollar budget deficit forecasted for next year, we need to find creative ways to raise money for our great state. Our plan will bring in at least $200 million dollars in new revenue. In these times of financial uncertainty how can we afford to pass up on this idea?

Link To Former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson’s Report:

State Senators Shirley Huntley & George Onorato On Marriage Equality

The New York State Young Democrats will continue to fight for Marriage Equality in New York State. As part of our ongoing campaign we will be providing our members with the opinions of our elected officials on this issue.

Today we have the statements from two of the Democratic State Senators who voted against Marriage Equality. We were very disappointed to see that both State Senator Shirley Huntley and State Senator George Onorato were on the wrong side of history, and we will remember this come 2010.


Statement From State Senator Shirley Huntley :

“I firmly believe that my vote against the Marriage Equality legislation reflects the wishes of the vast majority of my constituents. With that being said, I also firmly believe that any decision on Marriage Equality should, ultimately, be made by the people of New York State, not the Legislature .  I would fully support a referendum to allow the people of New York State to decide the issue”.

Statement From State Senator George Onorato:

“I deeply respect the views of the gay and lesbian community on same-sex marriage, although they are not my own, and I have appreciated the candid and most universally respectful dialogue we have had on this issue. Over the years, I have voted in favor of the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA), the hate crimes law, and other legislation of importance to the LGBT community, and I continue to support the Dignity for All Students Act and the Gender Identification Non Discrimination Act (GENDA). But on same-sex marriage, we must continue to agree to disagree”.

Assembly Member Jonathan Bing On Marriage Equality

A Personal Statement on Marriage Equality

Like many New Yorkers, I was extremely disappointed with the defeat of marriage equality legislation in the State Senate on November 25. I have supported this legislation (A. 7732) as an important step in treating New Yorkers fairly, regardless of sexual orientation, when it comes to marriage.

In one my first acts as a newly-elected member of the Assembly in 2003, I signed on as one of the ten original co-sponsors of first marriage equality bill ever introduced. Since then, the Assembly has passed and I have co-sponsored and voted for this legislation three times; the measure first passed in 2007 and then twice this year. In 2007, I hosted a forum on same-sex marriage with a panel that included the Senate sponsor of the bill, Tom Duane, and representatives from the Empire State Pride Agenda and Lambda Legal Defense. I also co-sponsored the law (Ch. 768 of 2005) that gave domestic partners the same rights as spouses in the disposition of a loved one’s remains.

As the United States Supreme Court has held, the freedom to marry is “one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free people,” This bill would finally allow the countless couples and families wishing to express this basic right the opportunity to share such an important bond. Although the New York State Domestic Relations Law contains no specific prohibition against — or allowance for — marriages between individuals of the same sex, the New York State Court of Appeals has held that New York law does not allow for same-sex marriages. The bar against same-sex marriages exists regardless of how long the individuals have lived together or whether they are raising children through legally recognized joint-custody arrangements.

This bill would remove the barriers in New York law that deprive individuals of the equal right to marry the person of their choice. For too long, the same-sex couples who want to be married have lacked basic legal protections taken for granted by married couples. In many areas, including property ownership, inheritance, health care, hospital visitation, taxation, insurance coverage, child custody and pension benefits, married couples receive important safeguards against the loss or injury of a spouse and assurances their marital privacy will be respected.

What’s next in the battle for marriage equality? I will work with the sponsor of the bill in the Assembly, Danny O’Donnell, to ensure that the Assembly passes marriage equality legislation again in 2010 to keep the issue moving forward. I will support State Senators who did the right thing and cast their votes in the affirmative even though a negative vote might have been easier for them. Finally, I will consider supporting challengers to incumbents who stand in the way of progress on this issue. The right to marry is a civil right that all deserve, and now is the time to stand up for the issues we believe in.

In the wake of last week’s defeat of marriage equality legislation in the Senate, I take small comfort in knowing that when my two-and-a-half year old daughter is a teenager, marriage equality will be the law of the land. I believe that she and her generation will grow up in a world where people are respected regardless of their sexual orientation. She will wonder why there was such an effort to stop this from moving forward, in the same way that my generation cannot comprehend how people tried through the law to prevent marriages between those of different races. Achieving marriage equality is not a question of “if” but of “when,” and we must work to ensure that the “when” is sooner rather than later.

Marriage Equality Update


“It is always darkest before the dawn. The darkest day in the history of the American civil rights movement was in 1857 when the Supreme Court ruled against Dred Scott, making slavery legal north of the 36th parallel. That was the darkest day for the abolitionists. But when we look back in history, we forget that this was only five years before the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in September of 1862.

“I understand the anger; I understand the frustration; I understand the feeling of betrayal; and I understand the profound disappointment of those who came to Albany today thinking they could get married tomorrow. But I am also here to tell you that we are not back to square one.

“Governors don’t come to the Senate floor after losing a vote. This one does, because this is a fight that is bigger than one legislative vote. This is a civil rights issue. Marriage equality is as important as the emancipation of any group from oppression and the granting of equal rights to any community.

“I believe in my heart that if people had voted their consciences today, we would be celebrating marriage equality tonight. That did not happen. As disappointed as we are today, let’s get up tomorrow and redouble our efforts. We are going to lay the foundation to make people feel comfortable to vote their conscience and not fear political backlash.

“Now we know who we have to talk to. We are going to quash the intimidation; we are going to alleviate the pressure; we are going to move this issue back to the floor of the Senate and we are going to have marriage equality in New York State and equal rights for everybody.”

The New York State Senate Democrats Who Voted Against Marriage Equality

Here is the listing of the 8 New York State Senate Democrats who voted against Marriage Equality. We are very dissappointed in these eight Democrats. We had thought that at the end of the day we could count on their support. We will remember this in 2010!

10. Shirley Huntley, D-NYC (Jamaica)
12. George Onorato, D-NYC (Astoria)
13. Hiram Monserrate, D-NYC (Jackson Heights)
15. Joseph Addabbo, Jr., D-NYC (Ozone Park)
27. Carl Kruger, D-NYC (Brooklyn)
32. Rubén Díaz, D-NYC (Soundview)
48. Darrel Aubertine, D-Upstate (Cape Vincent)
58. William Stachowski, D-Upstate (Hamburg)

Take Action Now On Marriage Equality!

Call NYS Governor David Paterson (518) 474-8390 and thank him for his support and his guarantee to put the vote on the agenda!

For all of this info online go to

Please make hourly targeted phone calls to NYS politicians:

* Tell them we want a vote on marriage equality in the special session scheduled for Nov 10th!
* Tell them we expect them to do everything they can, with all of their political strength, to ensure this vote will happen!
* Tell Senators to vote on the side of equality and pass Marriage Equality Bill S.4401! (For info on the bill go to S.4401/Duane)
Here is the list of NYS politicians and their phone numbers to call: Call on Monday and ask them to urge the NYS Senate to pass Marriage Equality Bill S.4401:

NYS Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (800) 788-9898
NYC Speaker Christine Quinn (212) 564-7757
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (212) 639-9675
Counsel to NYC Mayor Anthony Crowell (212) 788-3000
Former US President Bill Clinton (212) 348-8882
US Senator for NYS Charles E. Schumer NYC: ( 212)-486-4430 Albany: (518) 431-4070
US Senator for NYS Kirsten Gillibrand NYC: (212)-688-6262 Albany: (518) 431-0120

Monday, Nov 9, 2009
9am- NYS Senator Lavalle District: (631) 696-6900 Albany: (518) 455-3121
9am- NYS Senator Breslin District & Albany: (518) 455-2225
10am- NYS Senator Valesky District: (315) 478-8745 Albany: (518) 455-2838
10am- NYS Senator Stachowski District: (716) 826-3344 Albany: (518) 455-2426
11am- NYS Senator Hannon District: (516) 739-1700 Albany: (518) 455-2200
11am- NYS Senator Thompson District: (716) 854-8705 Albany: (518) 455-3371
12pm- NYS Senator Robach District: (585) 225-3650 Albany: (518) 455-2909
12pm- NYS Senator Aubertine District: (315) 782-3418 Albany: (518) 455-2761
1pm- NYS Senator Lanza District: (718) 984-4073 Albany: (518) 455-3215
1pm- NYS Senator Onorato District: (718) 545-9706 Albany: (518) 455-3486
2pm- NYS Senator Foley District: (631) 360-3356 Albany: (518) 455-2303
2pm- NYS Senator Fuschillo District: (516) 882-0630 Albany: (518) 455-3341
3pm- NYS Senator Alesi District: (585) 223-1800 Albany: (518) 455-2015 3pm-

Your Senator- find out who that is Monday & Tuesday every hour, on the hour- ALL DAY!

NYS Senate Majority Leader Sampson District: (718) 649-7653 Albany: (518) 455-2788

NYS Senate Majority Temp. Pres. Smith District: (718) 528-4290 Albany: (518) 455-2701

If you want additional info on the senator you are calling you can go to: —

Jessica A. Teicher NYSYD GLBT Caucus Chair

Matthew Silverstein NYSYD President