March 22, 2006
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New York City, March 21, 2006 – New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi and forty-four other elected officials from across

New York State voiced their support for marriage equality for same-sex couples through a special initiative put together by the Empire State Pride Agenda. Called “New Yorkers for the Freedom to Marry,” this initiative brings together local and state leaders from many different backgrounds to speak out in support of marriage for same-sex couples. The initiative was first launched on Valentine’s Day with statements from over seventy clergy.

“We are proud that elected officials all across the state are joining clergy members in standing up for our families and for a New York where all people are treated equally under the law,” said Alan Van Capelle, Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, New York’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil right organization. “When same-sex couples are able to marry and government provides our families the same protections and support it provides to all other families, these elected officials will be seen as being on the right side of history.”

Elected officials on the list range from Buffalo to NYC to Long Island and include: statewide officeholders Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi; U.S. Representatives Jerrold Nadler, Joseph Crowley, and Carolyn B Maloney; state legislators like Assemblymember Sam Hoyt from Buffalo, Senators David A. Paterson and Jose Serrano from NYC, and Assemblymember Charles D. Lavine from Nassau County; and county and local officials like Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson and Brighton Town Supervisor Sandra Frankel.

Additional names of elected officials supporting the right of same-sex couples to marry will be added as they sign up to be part of this program Additional phases will include business, labor and community leaders and will be announced in the coming weeks.

“All types of people outside of the gay community have been thinking about this issue and are realizing that the legal institution of marriage and the hundreds and hundreds of governmental protections and responsibilities that come with it should be available to all couples who are in loving, committed relationships,” said Van Capelle. “We are thankful that so many straight New Yorkers are committed to helping us win the right to marry and are joining this initiative to tell everyone else why marriage equality is good for all families and good for New York.”

Names & quotes from elected officials can be viewed on the Pride Agenda’s website at: Pride Agenda Web Site. —staff

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