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.