Sunday, May 17, 2009

Marriage Equality

Cast members of the Broadway show "Hair" rallied a crowd of thousands with a rendition of "Aquarius" on Sunday on the Avenue of the Americas from West 44th Street and points north in support of marriage equality in New York State.

Signage at the event was a mixture of the political and personal. In the month since Governor David Paterson introduced the marriage equality program bill the Assembly passed the bill by a margin of 89-52, a larger margin than when it passed two years ago.

New York State Senator Thomas K. Duane, the sponsor of the marriage equality program bill in the Senate, was the first politician to address the rally. With just 18 days left in this year's legislative session, Duane urged supporters to reach out to relatives and friends and encourage them to contact their Senators to let them know that they are in favor of marriage equality in New York. "It's not if, it's when," Duane chanted with the crowd.

Governor David Paterson and Senator Duane embrace after Paterson addressed the Broadway Impact rally. “We’re in a race right now in New York,” the governor told the crowd. “The time for justice, the time for equality, the time for equal rights can never be any more urgent than right now.”

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was introduced by members of Broadway Impact organizers at Sunday's rally. “We’ve got to put the pressure on them and not take any double talk for an answer,” he said. “We won’t stop until we put a bill on the governor’s desk.”