Compiled by Howard Israel
“The story of how same-sex marriage became legal in New York is about shifting public sentiment and individual lawmakers moved by emotional appeals from gay couples who wish to be wed. But, behind the scenes, it was really about a Republican Party reckoning with a profoundly changing power dynamic, where Wall Street donors and gay-rights advocates demonstrated more might and muscle than a Roman Catholic hierarchy and an ineffective opposition. And it was about a Democratic governor, himself a Catholic, who used the force of his personality and relentlessly strategic mind to persuade conflicted lawmakers to take a historic leap.”
-In an article titled “Behind N.Y. Gay Marriage, an Unlikely Mix of Forces,” http://www.nytimes.com, June 25.
“We will continue to grow the number of Americans who support the freedom to marry. Not only is there now majority support for ending discrimination in marriage, but the freedom to marry is riding a demographic wave. Roughly 60 percent of millennials – voters under 30 who represent the largest generation ever – overwhelmingly support marriage rights for loving, committed same-sex couples. Their support ranges across virtually every demographic, including Republicans and even evangelicals. Elected officials looking to the future, let alone history, see voters – Democratic, independent, and increasingly, Republican – who want them to stand for the freedom to marry.”
-Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, in his column titled “The Freedom To Marry: What’s Next After New York?,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com, June 25. Freedom to Marry is a campaign to win marriage equality nationwide.
“(T)he wish and push to be married cast gay men and lesbians in the most benign, conservative light imaginable, not as enemies of tradition but as aspirants to it. In the quest for integration and validation, saying ‘I do’ to ‘I do’ is much more effective – not to mention more reflective of the way most gay people live – than strutting in leather on a parade float. We’re not trying to undermine the institution of marriage, a task ably handled by the likes of Tiger Woods, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Edwards and too many other onetime role models to mention. We’re paying it an enormous compliment.”
-Frank Bruni, in his column titled “To Know Us Is to Let Us Love,” http://www.nytimes.com, June 25.
“The current marriage and relationships landscape is strikingly different from what it was just ten years ago. In 2001, there were no states with marriage, one state (Vermont) with civil unions, and two (California and Hawaii) that had limited state-level domestic partner registries. Today, six states plus D.C. allow same-sex couples to marry, three more respect marriages of same-sex couples validly performed in other states, eight provide civil unions or comprehensive domestic partnerships, and three more have more limited domestic partnership systems. That’s 20 states plus D.C. that provide some significant state-level relationship protections, and those states are home to 130 million people.”
-James D. Esseks, director of the ACLU National LGBT & AIDS Project, in an email titled “On a Roll – Marriage in New York!,” about the NY State Senate’s passage of the marriage bill, http://www.aclu.org/LGBT, June 24.