An estimated 1,200 supporters of gay
marriage rallied for its legalization in New York on Monday.
Governor Andrew Cuomo released the
transcript of a robo-call he had recorded in support of making New
York the sixth state to legalize the institution and sent
Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy to speak to the crowd attending gay
rights group Empire State Pride Agenda's eleventh annual Equality and
Justice Day in Albany.
“I want to make one thing perfectly
clear, nobody in this state should ever question or underestimate
Governor Cuomo's commitment to marriage equality,” Duffy told the
crowd. “The governor has made marriage equality one of his top
three legislative issues.”
Cuomo aides did not give a reason why
he skipped the event, but insisted he's committed to passage of the
legislation. The governor will make his pitch on the issue next week
during the People First Tour.
“Marriage equality is an issue of
civil rights. Of basic, basic, civil rights,” Duffy added.
Openly gay lawmakers Senator Thomas
Duane and Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, who have carried gay marriage
bills in the past, also spoke at the event.
Duane reminded the crowd that a gay
marriage bill died in the Senate in 2009, when Democrats controlled
“They would not vote in favor of our
right to be married and they would not vote in favor of GENDA if the
vote were held today,” Duane said, referring to a transgender
protections bill, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act. Last
called the Senate “a cesspool of homophobia and transphobia”
after a key committee rejected GENDA.
Twenty-four-year-old Miss New York
Claire Buffie said she was “a straight ally” who has a gay
Gay marriage “is the civil rights
issue of our generation,” she said.
State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., the
Senate's most vociferous opponent of marriage equality, and the
National Organization for Marriage (NOM) will rally
against the yet-to-be-introduced gay marriage bill at a Sunday rally
in the Bronx.