The following is from HRC Regional Field Organizer Shirin Khosravi:
On February 8th the Human Rights Campaign partnered with Marriage Equality NY to sponsor their 3rd annual Marriage Equality Day in Albany. With the help of HRC, the Empire State Pride Agenda, and other coalition partners, MENY organized buses from across the state to travel to Albany so that New Yorkers had the opportunity to tell their stories and tell their Senators face-to-face why we must have marriage equality now.
My colleague David Turley and I met at the Empire State Plaza in Albany around 9:30 to greet the hundreds of supporters arranging from all corners of the state. I was especially impressed to see over 100 of our friends from Western New York, traveling 5 hours by bus ride in both directions. Over the course of the day, pro-equality constituents met with Senators and Assembly members, telling them their personal accounts of how the denial of equal rights has affected their lives, and the lives of their families I sat and spoke multiple community members from my regions in the Hudson Valley, including police officers, small business owners, teachers and couples who want to see a marriage equality bill passed in 2011. I am very excited to have met such amazing people from my home state and am looking forward to working alongside all of them in the field.
David, local HRC members and I had the pleasure of sitting down with Senator Greg Ball (R) from Patterson, NY and his staff to discuss the future of marriage equality in the Empire State. I was especially moved by HRC member Dan Cullen from Senator Greg Ball’s district that proudly represented his lesbian daughter and their family’s story. We greatly appreciate the Senator taking the time to meet with us and hope that we will have his support when the historic vote takes place this year.
Growing up in the Hudson Valley, I was proud to be a part of such a well organized and successful equality day. HRC, MENY, ESPA and a broad coalition of LGBT groups from across the state are working together closer than ever to ensure that our efforts to obtain equal marriage rights are as organized and effective as possible. 2011 will be the year that marriage equality will become a reality for New Yorkers and we are going to do everything in our power to make sure of it.
To get involved in HRC’s New York Campaign for Marriage, please contact me at 914 466-6058 or email or email firstname.lastname@example.org.