Maya Angelou Once Called New York Senators to Persuade Them to Pass Marriage Equality

In 2009, Maya Angelou, who died this morning at the age of 86, placed three calls to New York state senators urging them to support marriage equality.

2_angelouThe New York Times reported (five years ago today):

In a telephone interview, Ms. Angelou, who has a home in Harlem, said she felt compelled to speak out because she believes that legalizing same-sex marriage is a matter of social fairness — a subject that has been a theme of her writing.

“I would ask every man and every woman who’s had the blessing of having children, ‘Would you deny your son or your daughter the ecstasy of finding someone to love?’ ” she said.

Ms. Angelou said she believed that society made gay relationships hard enough without the added burden of making marriage illegal.

“To love someone takes a lot of courage,” she said. “So how much more is one challenged when the love is of the same sex and the laws say, ‘I forbid you from loving this person’?”

Thank you, Dr. Angelou, and rest in peace.


  1. Rowan says

    EXACTLY. A true LGBT warrior-no funfare, no PR spin or images.

    Ninjakitty, a lot of the old civil rights people are and have spoken out for equality for gays but black culture has changed. These guys are seen as super liberal and because they are anti- Beyonce, Jay Z and that type of African American music, they are ignored by black popular culture.

    I can’t imagine a black kid under the age of 28 knows who any of these guys are-Harry Belafonte, Maya, Toni Morrison etc

    RIP lady.

  2. Gary says

    Making marriage legal could mask another burden Maya was a brand, but she left her mark. Heaven forbid anyone dare say anything. So it was three calls… three.

  3. One of the CA 36,000+ says

    I have always been a little in awe of Maya Angelou and her natural brilliance. But this shows that she had an endless well of love for all people seeking justice.

    And I think I love her just a little bit more.

    Rest in peace, Ms. Angelou.

  4. Tyler says

    Gary (Rick): show us your accomplishments and evidence of your activism. I’ll wait.

    Truth is you’ll never match Maya Angelou’s greatness nor possess the same level of courage she had. So take your pathetic trolling elsewhere.

  5. says

    We are all better people for having shared this earth with Dr. Maya Angelou. I read her works before i was brave enough to read gay lit as a teen – because i was desperate for stories of survival, hope, and triumph over cultural adversity. My introduction to her was “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”, and i was hooked. it brought me out of a very scared and dark place at age 14, and i know that experience of mine is not singular. She will be profoundly missed, and yet she is immortal. Her words will live forever, her impact will reverberate over centuries, and she will continue to move and inspire millions.

    It’s been lovely seeing family and so many friends sharing their thoughts on her, and posting their favourite Angelou quotes on Facebook all morning – and what a wealth there is!

    here’s a fave, my mum shared: “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be”

    her impact is immeasurable. Thank you, thank you, thank you Maya Angelou.

  6. Gary says

    Predictable drivel. Of course everyone loved Maya. They had to. She was liberal cred. I don’t know weather to thank her, or re-read Kiwi’s heartfelt remembrance. I never met her, or Kiwi, to witness their true holiness. I know Oprah was influenced. And we all know what a selfless saint she is.

  7. Gary says

    “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” as quoted by Maya Angelou

  8. Tyler says

    Gary (Rick): we haven’t forgotten how you made us feel. That’s why you’re so easily identifiable. Because you post the same nonsense under different names. We haven’t forgotten who we are but we wish you’d disappear.

  9. Gary says

    Who is we? Who are you to tell anyone to disappear , when so many of the religious and the conservatives wish you would. Hypocrites.
    You think gay is a blob of same thought.

  10. alex says

    Maya Angelou made the world a better place. The criticism of her on here is utterly disgusting.

    It makes me wonder: Do you think there are people posting nasty messages today on the Sierra Club or Audubon Society website criticizing Dr. Angelou for not being a more proactive environmentalist? Or, are (some) Towleroad commenters the only ones making asses of themselves?

Leave A Reply