Five activists from the group Queer Rising were arrested this afternoon following several protests demanding marriage equality.
Balloons carrying a large sign calling on New Yorkers put pressure on their government to demand marriage equality are now floating just under the Grand Central Station’s landmark ceiling, and five people have been arrested for blocking rush-hour traffic just outside Governor Cuomo's Manhattan office, at East 41 Street and 3rd Avenue. The Queer Rising members unfurled a 75-foot banner that reads, “Marriage Equality NOW! Call Cuomo: 518-474-8390!!!”
Five members of Queer Rising members handcuffed and chained themselves in the middle of the street and refused to leave the demonstration. Those arrested were: Natasha Dillon (26, lesbian activist); Kevin Donohue (51, gay Jewish activist); Melissa Kleckner (31, straight ally); Ali Lozano (20, lesbian student activist); Robert Moore (30, gay Mormon activist).
“My religious beliefs require that I stand up for the underdog - even when that underdog is me,” said Donohue. “Marriage rights go way beyond the wedding and encompass everything from custody rights to hospital visitation rights to pension and inheritance rights; in short, the protective legal framework straight families take for granted. Inequality under law is unjust, and now is the time we must end it.”
Drag Queen Weddings for Equality organized a separate event at Grand Central Station, a drag wedding in which approximately ten drag queens officiated and enacted a wedding, educating commuters about the need for marriage equality and inviting them to march in solidarity to the governor's office.
Watch Lozano's arrest, AFTER THE JUMP...
Last week, New York magazine reported:
"According to Marriage Equality New York head Ron Zacchi, Governor Cuomo has told state LGBT leaders he expects a vote on a marriage-equality bill in the State Senate in 'six to eight weeks, or maybe sooner.' Even though the math doesn't look good for such a bill's passage (advocates would need to swing a small number of Republicans, all of whom voted against the bill last time), Cuomo is fresh off strong-arming the state legislature into a budget deal, and he still has sky-high popularity strengthening his hand."