Monday, June 20, 2011

GMHC COO Janet Weinberg Talks Marriage Equality

So, this was supposed to be the big week for marriage rights for LGBT people in New York State. I watched with baited breath as each day passed and a Republican Senator agreed to support this bill. I was amazed when three democrats who refused to support this bill changed their minds and threw in their support.  Each email or action alert that I received from GMHC’s lobbyists surely would announce the Senate vote time. But alas, it is Friday and the vote has not been called. 

My domestic partner with whom I have been involved in a deep and committed relationship for 20 and 1/2 years sent me an email.  It said:

Gossip here is that 2 more votes gotten for marriage. Will u marry me? Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

My answer is, of course, yes. Just let it be so that we can get married. We shared the joy of our niece being born, nieces and nephews growing up and getting married, the death of our fathers, care taking of aging parents, our own serious health issues, promotions and job changes, the purchase of our new home and so many other life cycles. Each one of these life events was met with the same care, passion, love and concern as any other couple. The only difference is that I am a woman and so is my life partner.

Today, I can only call the love of my life a partner or my domestic partner. We do not have the right to marry in the state that we live in. We are so close to being able to refer to each other as wives but Senator Skelos is afraid to let this go to a vote. It is hard to make sense out of any of this. We are just two hard working women, who try to do the right thing for our world.  When will the NY Senate allow us to have the same rights as my heterosexual brother and brother- in laws? I will hold my breath and wait until Monday.

If you wish to do something about this, it is not too late. Please call Senator Dean Skelos (518) 455-3171 and ask him to allow the marriage vote. Also call Senator Ball (518) 455-3111 and let him know that you want marriage for LGBT people to happen.

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