“My partner John and I were among the plaintiffs in the New York State Court of Appeals lawsuit challenging the definition of marriage in 2006. Losing that lawsuit made me realize that my legislative priority had to be the passage of New York’s Marriage Equality Act. So we took our struggle to the State Legislature. I introduced and gained passage of New York’s first Marriage Equality Bill through the State Assembly in 2007, when public support for marriage equality was under 50 percent. Between April and June of that year, in conjunction with numerous grassroots groups, including synagogues, churches, LGBTQ advocacy organizations, and statewide and national coalitions, we worked to convince 85 of the 150 assembly members from across the state to support marriage equality.
“For every debate and every vote, my partner (now husband!) John joined me in Albany to show my colleagues whom they were voting for. We were a couple like any other, a couple who had been together longer than most — at that point over 30 years — and all we were asking for was legal recognition of our commitment to one another. Slowly we won converts, as more of my colleagues and more of the residents of New York learned what same-sex marriage would mean for our state. Sometimes progress happens one individual at a time. Three governors, four years, and a continuing, massive grassroots movement later, we were able to pass this historic act through both houses of the legislature on this day in June 2011.” – New York state Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, celebrating the anniversary for the Huffington Post.
RELATED: A reception for O’Donnell’s reelection campaign will be held from 5-7PM tonight at Cafe du Soleil at 2723 Broadway (@ 104th Street). Donate online here.