NEW YORK: Gay Rights Group Unite On Concentrated Push For Marriage

A coalition of LGBT rights group has formed to make a concentrated push for marriage equality in New York state. Via press release:

New Yorkers United for Marriage, an unprecedented alliance that includes Empire State Pride Agenda, Freedom to M arry, Human Rights Campaign and Marriage Equality New York will build on the growing momentum for marriage and groundwork already laid across the state – with the goal of enacting a bill before the end of the current legislative session. “Today, we stand closer than ever to allowing all loving, committed couples to legally marry here in New York,” said Ross Levi, Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda. “We’ve sent a loud and clear message during the last two years that supporting the LGBT community isn’t just the right thing to do, but it’s also good politics, and this unprecedented coalition will amplify that message.”

The New York Times reports that the coalition is being led by the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Under the supervision of the governor’s staff, the groups intend to raise more than $1 million for a media blitz, hire a powerful political consultant close to the Cuomo administration and deploy field organizers to the districts of more than a dozen key lawmakers to drum up support, according to interviews with those involved in the effort. In contrast to their failed drive for a marriage bill two years ago, the advocates envision a short, disciplined and intense run-up to a vote in the State Legislature, raising the prospect that gay couples may be allowed to wed in New York by early summer. Their overriding aim: avoid the mistakes and miscommunications of 2009, when those lobbying for same-sex marriage sent conflicting messages, misjudged the opposition and won far fewer votes than they had predicted. After passing in the Assembly, the bill was defeated in the Senate, 38 to 24.