Reform Jewish Voice of New York State

November 23, 2014 · 1 Kislev


Marriage Equality Briefing

Marriage Equality Briefing Call
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
With Kate J. McDonough - Lead Organizer, Empire State Pride Agenda, Coordinator, Pride in the Pulpit

Welcome and Introduction of Kate by RJV co-chair Donald C. Cutler

Political landscape:

  • Assembly has been very supportive, passed marriage at least three times
  • As far as we know, there are still majority "yes" votes in the Assembly even though we lost some in the last election
  • Gov. Cuomo is committed to marriage equality
  • Senate has been the roadblock for some time
  • When the Senate took this up in 09 it was voted down 38-24
  • We must have "yes" votes from Republicans, they control the Senate and we can't depend on every single Democrat to vote yes


  • New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom
  • National Organization for Marriage
  • Catholic Archdiocese
  • Religion is common denominator for all to justify their opposition
  • We need to counter their voices by asserting that there are people of faith whose religion supports marriage equality
  • States will always define marriage
  • Unitarian Universalists have been marrying same-sex couples since 1970s, the main difference is between religious and civil marriage
  • We're advocating for civil marriage
  • Marriage is personal - about love and commitment, protecting your family
  • Marriage guarantees 1324 rights in NYS alone that enable us to look after our families
  • May 16th is ideal time for lobby day - Empire State Pride is having theirs the week prior, which will build momentum for us
  • This is the home stretch, it's our opportunity to help achieve this important legislation and leave our finger print on the passage of this important legislation

New Yorkers United for Marriage coalition:

  • ESPA, HRC, Freedom to Marry, MENY
  • Log Cabin Republicans, League of Women Voters - new groups to join
  • Assembling major groups working on marriage equality in NY to speak in one voice and share resources
  • The Governor is involved and supports marriage equality

1. What are the chances of this passing?

  • Very good, Assembly is still strong and we're six votes away in the Senate
  • 1324 Reasons for Marriage Equality explains all the issues
  • We have to couple legal rights with the importance of supporting loving families to get around the argument for just civil unions

2. Who are the most likely Republicans?

  • No one who voted against marriage equality in 2009 has publicly changed vote
  • Western: Jim Alesi, Rochester
  • Capital District: Roy McDonald
  • North: Betty Little
  • Hudson Valley: Stephen Saland
  • Long Island: Jack Martins (new), John Flanagan, Charles Fuschillo, Kenneth LaValle, Lee Zeldin (new)
  • NYC: Andrew Lanza, Joseph Addabbo

3. Does my voice matter if my Senator supports marriage equality?

  • Yes! We need to represent the faith voice on this issue!
  • It's just as important to thank your Senator and show them that there are faith voices for equality.