Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan van Capelle released a statement following this afternoon's disappointing rejection of marriage equality in New York state.
While we are disappointed by today’s vote, we are pleased that the issue of marriage equality at last was debated in the New York State Senate. We had long called for a public debate on this matter so we could determine who was truly on our side.
It is a step forward for our democratic process in New York that a debate and vote have now occurred. Now we know where we stand, and where we need to concentrate our efforts in the future.
We are incredibly thankful to those who have stood with us and will continue to stand with us as our community presses forward to win marriage equality. In this regard:
We thank Governor Paterson for his unstinting support;
We thank each of the Senators who pushed for a vote and stood with us when it was time to be counted;
We also thank the members of the New York State Assembly—led by Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell—who have three times now voted for marriage equality by increasingly bipartisan majorities; and
We thank our many allies in the labor, faith and the business communities for their support and willingness to speak out.
To the tens of thousands of LGBT New Yorkers who have worked hard for equality, and to those who may for the very first time have become politically involved due to this fight, our message is as follows:
Our fight continues. Marriage equality is coming to New York. Time clearly is on our side and you can be sure that we will never stop working until we win.
To those Senators who do not yet see our families as deserving the same protections as other families in New York, our message is simple:
We are more committed than ever to this fight. We will redouble our efforts in your district to ensure that our voice is heard. We know our cause is just. We know that a growing majority of New Yorkers believes in the same values of fairness and equality that we do. If you cannot support us, we will find candidates for public office who do, and we will work through the democratic system to affect needed change.