NY LGBT Advocates to Mount ‘Short, Disciplined, Intense’ Campaign to Achieve Marriage Equality by June

The Empire State Pride Agenda, the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and Marriage Equality New York — will form a single organization called New Yorkers United for Marriage which will shortly undertake a coordinated effort to sway three Democrats and 12 Republicans who voted against marriage equality last year in an effort to pass it by early summer, the NYT reports:

Cunningham Under the supervision of the governor’s staff, the groups intend to raise more than $1 million for a media blitz, hire a powerful political consultant close to the Cuomo administration and deploy field organizers to the districts of more than a dozen key lawmakers to drum up support, according to interviews with those involved in the effort.

In contrast to their failed drive for a marriage bill two years ago, the advocates envision a short, disciplined and intense run-up to a vote in the State Legislature, raising the prospect that gay couples may be allowed to wed in New York by early summer.

Their overriding aim: avoid the mistakes and miscommunications of 2009, when those lobbying for same-sex marriage sent conflicting messages, misjudged the opposition and won far fewer votes than they had predicted. After passing in the Assembly, the bill was defeated in the Senate, 38 to 24.

The coalition and plan will be unveiled today, according to the paper: "The coalition is hiring Jennifer Cunningham (pictured), a veteran labor and media strategist who is close to the governor and has advised his campaigns. Ms. Cunningham and her firm, SKD Knickerbocker, will oversee the coalition’s media campaign and political strategy."

Cuomo Helps Groups Mobilize for Marriage Bill [nyt]


  1. Ted says

    While we’re mentioning the efforts of mainstream LGBT organizations to achieve marriage equality, let’s not forget the monthly civil disobedience actions of Queer Rising.

  2. daftpunkydavid says

    @ ted: not to take anything away from queer rising, i think this “me too!” mentality is definitely partly to blame for our defeat in new york.

  3. brian says

    New York is an unusual place. You’d think it would be way ahead of the curve on gay rights but it’s not the case. There is little in the way of activism in the gay scene. The gay scene seems to revolve around drugs and dance parties, two surefire killers of activism. You cannot really trust New York gays to achieve anything these days.

  4. Wavin' Dave says

    I’m a New Yorker, born and bred, partnered for 14 years. I don’t understand the state-by-state marriage equality movement as long as DOMA remains in full effect (and this week even mounts a lively new GOP defense.) What advantages can “marriage” that expires at any given state border offer besides the “feel-good/ we’re normal folks like our siblings and neighbors” buzz? We still get clobbered at tax time! I just don’t get it. Marshal resources and dismantle DOMA.

  5. says

    Get it done, NY.

    @Wavin’Dave: The state-by-state marriage equality movement is frustrating, but necessary. It provides protections for people within their states, but it also builds support for equality, because once people see that gay couples marrying has no negative impacts, they tend to adapt and get over their (homophobic) reservations. Also, the more gay couples who are married and who are discriminated against at the federal level, the stronger the legal and political case for overturning DOMA. The truth is we need the court strategy, the legislative strategy, and the public relations strategy simultaneously.