Love is in the air today, the first day that gay and lesbian couples can legally wed in the state of New York. In the city alone, 823 couples—including two of Mayor Bloomberg’s aides—are scheduled to be married. It’s all thanks to the Marriage Equality Act, which passed late last month. In honor of this historic victory for civil rights and love, Bwog reached out to pertinent campus groups to get their take on the passage of the Act. Also be sure to check out Cityroom’s piece on how young New Yorkers—that’s sort of us!—feel about marriage equality in New York.
CQA applauds New York State for affirming the relationships of LGBTQ New Yorkers by passing the historic Marriage Equality Act! While this victory is certainly a cause for celebration, it is also an opportunity for the Columbia community to open serious dialogue about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the proper role of the State in marriage, and the many next steps that we can take in advancing rights for all LGBTQ persons.
Columbia’s Everyone Allied Against Homophobia is proud to join in the celebration of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature’s approval of marriage equality. Marriage equality is an important step on the road to ending discrimination against the LGBTQ community and achieving equal rights throughout America. In particular, EAAH would like to congratulate our own State Assemblyman, Daniel O’Donnell, on his recent engagement to his partner of 31 years. Assemblyman O’Donnell has worked tirelessly for marriage equality and introduced the Marriage Equality Bill in the State Assembly four times since 2007. We are proud to have him representing Columbia and the rest of the 69th District.
However, EAAH also recognizes that much work remains in achieving recognition of LGBTQ equality: discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, providing support services for LGBTQ homeless youth who have been denied a home simply for being true to themselves, the daily harassment and discrimination which LGBTQ kids and teens across the nation face daily, and an immigration system which does not recognize the legitimacy of same-sex marriages all remain serious issues. EAAH remains firmly committed to fighting for a greater recognition of the equality and dignity of LGBTQ individuals through education and activism on Columbia’s campus and the greater community.”
“GendeRevolution finds the recent passage of the marriage equality bill by the New York State legislature a welcome development and a victory for the acceptance of sexual minorities in the United States. But we feel that LGBTTQQIA [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersexed, Asexual] persons and their allies in New York ought to be well aware that this victory is far from the end of struggle for social and political equality for sexual and gender minorities in this country. At a time when more than 90% of transgender Americans report having faced employment discrimination and the transgender community endures rates of homelessness and unemployment double those of the general population, as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force noted in a landmark study released this February, more urgent matters call for our attention. High school students across the country continue to report frequent and merciless bullying due to real or perceived sexual and gender identity, rates of suicide attempts and homelessness among LGBTTQQIA youth remain staggering, we do not yet have national employment non-discrimination legislation, and it is estimated that one trans person every month is the fatal victim of a hate crime. In the face of these desperate problems, marriage equality in New York remains an important milestone, but we cannot let ourselves be distracted from either the invidious conditions under which so many LGBTTQQIA persons live in this country, or what we can do to change them.”
Hearts from Wikimedia Commons.