One year ago today the New York State Legislature passed marriage equality for gay New Yorkers on the eve of New York City’s Pride celebration
One year ago this weekend the New York State Senate voted to legalize marriage equality for gays and lesbians in New York State with four Republican senators joining the affirmative vote. Across the state and from coast to coast in America, the LGBT community celebrated all night long. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill late in the evening before midnight. Legal marriages began on July 24th, 2011. New York State had already determined it recognized legal marriages from other jurisdictions.
Since then thousands have married, including New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn who married her long time girlfriend Kim Catullo on May 19th this year.
Remaining legal measures to be adopted in New York State include the Gender Expression Non-Discreimination Act that has been reintroduced in the legislature that would ban discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and education throughout New York State based upon gender identity. More work to do in New York State and throughout the country, but let’s take a moment to celebrate our beloved Empire State.
So in honor of Pride Day, let’s rock out with Alicia Keys and Jay Z in their iconic rendition of an Empire State of Mind and enjoy the spectacularly beautiful photograph of the Pride adorned Empire State Building shot by Inga Sarta-Sorenson.
Photo credit of the Empire State Building adorned in the Pride Rainbow by Inga Sarta- Sorenson, who is the terrific director of communications at NGLTF.
Tanya L. Domi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University who teaches human rights in East Central Europe and former Yugoslavia. She is a Harriman Institute affiliated faculty member. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi was a nationally recognized LGBT civil rights activist who worked for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force during the campaign to lift the military ban in the early 1990s. Domi has also worked internationally in a dozen countries on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights, gender issues and media freedom. She is chair of the board of directors for GetEQUAL. She is currently writing a book about the emerging LGBT human rights movement in the Western Balkans.
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