Marriage Equality's July Advocate of the Month

5 Jul 2011

Andrew_Cuomo_by_Pat_Arnow2 Photo by Pat Arnow

This year, the city of New York (as well as the rest of the State) had an extra reason to celebrate at their Pride festivities on Sunday, June 26. Just two days earlier, on Friday, June 24, New York joined 6 other states in making marriage equality a reality for same sex couples.

That's why this month we're delighted to make New York Governor Andrew Cuomo our Advocate of the Month for July!

Governor Cuomo's determination to make marriage equality a reality in New York began in the early days of taking office. Speaking in March 2011 about making marriage equality a top priority, he said "I am going to work for this as hard as I have ever worked for anything in my life."

He managed the campaign for marriage equality in an extremely hands-on way, working with a diverse range of stakeholders, from marriage equality groups like New Yorkers United for Marriage to Republican senators.

His leadership in advancing marriage equality legislation was "nothing short of masterful" according to Marc Solomon from Freedom to Marry. "Never before has a Govenor taken charge of marriage legislation and steered it through with such determination, conviction and political skill." And his tireless efforts paid off. On the evening of June 24th 2011, the New York Senate passed the marriage bill by 33 votes to 29.

Speaking after he signed the bill into law, Governor Cuomo reflected on what had been accomplished that day:

"What we accomplished with marriage equality, really in some ways brings it all home, because this state, when it is at its finest, is a beacon for social justice. The legacy of this state was that we were the progressive capitol of the nation.

"We reached a new level of social justice this evening, marriage equality. I said to the legislators, you look at the first word, marriage, it's really about the second word, equality. It's really about New Yorkers, our brothers and sisters, looking at us and saying, we want equality. We want equality in society, equality in our relationships, equality in our love, equality in our families. We want full recognition, marriage equality, and we did it today."

Congratulations Governor Cuomo. Congratulations to everyone who worked together to make this a reality. And congratulations to all New Yorkers in loving same-sex relationships who are now able to marry the person they love.

Cuomo at Pride