Archive for Marriage

The Power Online Visits Sen Onorato’s District Office – Part 1

Posted in Senator George Onorato with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2009 by jonwinkleman

There’s a new Ruben Diaz, Sr. in town, and his name is George Onorato.  He’s another New York Democratic Senator who has declared his opposition to gay marriage even though he represents a very gay district.  It seems that members of The Power from NY State Senator George Onorato’s district who asked for a meeting were told they needed to travel to Albany to talk to him. The Power doesn’t play that game. You represent us.  You meet with us.  You explain your positions to us.  You do not rule by fiat.  You rule by the will of the people.

We made the first of many visits to Onorato’s district office in Long Island City Queens where we were encountered by an office manager who refused to provide an answer for the Senator’s position.

Starting today, if you live in Astoria, Woodside, or Long Island City and have a friend with a camera that shoots video,

  1. Please visit Senator Onorato’s district office and urge his staff to tell him to vote for same sex marriage. 
  2. And when they say he won’t, document their reasons, and do press for a reason. 
  3. As a constituent demand to know why your elected representative is opposing civil rights. 
  4. And then post it in the comments here so we can share it with the entire country.

Visit Sen Onorato’s district office at:
28-11 Astoria Blvd.
Long Island City, NY 11102
(between 28th and 29th St)

Call Sen George Onorato today and EVERY DAY and demand he support same sex marriage in New York now.
district office: 718-545-9706

Now is our time.

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Log Cabin: GOP Says NY Sens. Can Vote For Gay Marriage

Posted in Actions, Governor David Patterson, Marriage, New York with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by jeffbhall


The Log Cabin Republicans announced on Tuesday in The Advocate that New York State Republicans have been given permission to cast what is being called a “conscience vote” in favor of Gov. David Paterson’s marriage-equality bill.  The Republican State Legislative leadership is telling its caucus in the State Assembly and State Senate that the Republican Party will take no official position and are taking a neutral stand on the issue of marriage equality.  In essence the Republican Party is now more progressive on gay marriage than the Obama White House, which has stated it’s opposition to gay marriage.

Jeff Cook, who is the legislative adviser for the Log Cabin Republicans explained why this is such a significant decision.  Quoting from The Advocate article,

“…the decision stood in stark contrast to the tack taken in 2007, when assembly minority leader Jim Tedisco and the GOP leadership pressured assembly Republicans to vote against marriage equality.

“We were successful in that environment in getting four Republicans to vote yes, making it the first bipartisan vote on marriage in a legislative chamber,” Cook said. “But we would have probably done better if there was a ‘vote of conscience.'”

Cook called it “significant” that “the center of gravity in both parties has shifted on this issue to where Republicans now feel like their conference needs to be neutral and Democrats feel their conference needs to be emphatic in support.”

The article goes on to point out that a Siena poll released on Monday found 53% of the state’s voters want Governor Paterson’s marriage-equality bill passed, while only 39% are opposed to it.

In order to become law, the bill must pass both the State Assembly and the State Senate.  The New York State Assembly is expected to pass the equality bill; but the battle ground remains in the Senate.  While Senate Democrats, lead by Majority Leader Malcom A. Smith, have control of the Senate by a slim margin of 32 – 30, four Democrats are already vowing to vote against equality.  The four Democrats include Senator George Onorato (D-Queens) and Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. (D – Bronx).

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Quinn: Make The Lie of The Law Go Away

Posted in Christine Quinn, Governor David Patterson, Marriage, New York, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 16, 2009 by thepowerny

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the first woman and first openly gay person to hold that office, emotionally spoke at a press conference today at which Governor David Patterson re-introduced gay marriage legislation.


If I thought back in my life beyond my wildest dreams that I would stand a press conference next to the governor of my state next to the mayor of my city, and have both of those individuals pledge their full support for me and my family, to pledge publically in front of the state, this has to happen, that the laws have to  change to make LGBT families fully recognized, something that not long ago was less than a dream.  It seemed so impossible.  We now have the governor of our state not saying “I’m for this,” which would be great, but saying, “I am going to make this happen and I am going to make it happen soon.”

New York is a state that was built and blazed on the idea that people should have equality and be treated the same.  So that minority of people who have become too vocal and too listenened too, their’s a simple question:  Look me in the eye and tell me that Kim and I aren’t a family.  That we don’t struggle every day.  That we don’t pay taxes.  That we don’t work every day for this city.  No one can look me or her in the eye and tell us that because that is not true.  And today begins the step forward to make the lie of the law in New York State go away and make the lie of the marriage law in our city evaporate and to make our laws ones that are truthful that recognize every family as equal and affirm the love and commitment and struggle that unites all of our families.

Act Now

Call your New York State Senators and urge them to pass the bill. Click here to find out who your senator is.

Take the Daily News poll.

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Who Are These People?????

Posted in Anti-Gay Ads, Commercials, Gathering Storm, MSNBC, National Organization for Marriage, Rachel Maddow with tags , , , , , , on April 13, 2009 by thepowerny

Last week we told you  that YouTube was ignoring fair use rules when it yanked the Gathering Storm audtion tapes for a claimed copyright violation.  Fortunately, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow still has the original report on her site.

Being gay, we’re big supporters of the arts, and we think these actors deserve their fifteen minutes under the microscope of fame. Let’s help the actors in the National Organization for Marriage “Gathering Storm” commercial by finding out their names (their email addresses and phone numbers would be nice too). So if you know these people, help make them famous by posting their names in the comments. Skip through the clip to two minutes and eight seconds to see the audition tapes.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Who Are These People?????“, posted with vodpod




Action: Tell Obama That Marriage Opponents Follow His Lead. Stop the Obama Defense Now.

Posted in Actions, Barack Obama, Brian Bond, Hawaii, Maggie Gallagher, Marriage, National Organization for Marriage, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2009 by thepowerny

Last  week we asked you to join us in calling Democratic members of the Vermont House of Representatives who had voted against the gay marriage bill to ask them to vote to override the Republican governor’s veto.  When we did, we learned about something rather disturbing.  We’ll call it The Obama Defense.  Time and again, callers reported back to us that Democratic office holders who espoused an opposition to gay marriage and a support of the existing civil union law defended their position by saying it was identical to President Obama’s.  They were right.

This has to stop now.  Contact Brian Bond, the White House  LGBT Liason, and ask him to tell the President that his separate-but-equal campaign position on marriage jeopardizes equality at the state level.  Tell him that when rogue Democrats at the state level oppose marriage using the Obama Defense, he has a duty as party leader to tell them to vote with their caucus for equality.  Tell him that with Democrats threatening to block marriage legislation in New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Hawaii, the only acceptable position is for him to support marriage equality now.   

brian_bondx3901Brian Bond
White House Director of Outreach and LGBT Liason
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
Phone: (202) 456-1111


A year ago, gay people might have found a separate-but-equal pro-civil union position adequate, but Proposition 8 changed everything.   Proposition 8 banned same-sex marriage, but it did nothing to the existing California law which permits gay people to obtain civil unions.   That said, it completely exposed the animus that underlies such a system.  Our loss forced us to take a close look at the advertising that was used against us, the organizations that opposed us, and the lies, hate, and fear they spread there and that they are are now spreading throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic States.  In other words, we learned that separate is not equal. 

President Obama thinks that whether to recognize same-sex relationships is to be determined by the states and that his only responsibility in the matter is to make sure that recognized relationships get federal benefits. 

Unfortunately we have seen that his unwillingness to use the bully pulpit of the presidency to speak out for equality exposes us to greater lies and indignities.   As President, he has a duty to make sure that LGBT people are able to live with the same dignity and community respect as all other people.

The Windy City Times reported that when President Obama ran for the Illinois State Senate in 1996, he was unequivocally for same-sex marriage

President-elect Obama’s answer to a 1996 Outlines newspaper question on marriage was: “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” There was no use of the phrase “civil unions”. [ Outlines purchased Windy City Times in 2000 and merged companies. ]

Now is the time for President Obama to return to that position, to lead the Democratic Party and the country as the “fierce defender of equality for LGBT people” that he says he always has been.  It is time for him to be a leader who provides no defenses for legislators who support separate-but-equal positions.

It is time for us to tell him that NOW IS OUR TIME.


Brian Bond
White House LGBT Liason
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
Phone: (202) 456-1111

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Vermont Same Sex Marriage and Obama’s Legacy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by jonwinkleman

With the passage of full marriage equality for same-sex couples in Vermont, Iowa, Connecticut and Massachusetts, history has chosen lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights to be the defining American struggle for equality and civil rights during Barack Obama’s Presidency. President Obama has left little doubt that his role models are Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Both of who have a legacy as courageous civil rights figures. Although racial discrimination still exists, most of the major legal and legislative battles for racial equality have already been fought. LGBT equality may be the civil rights issue that defines Obama’s historical legacy.


Monday morning, I called Vermont State Representative Cynthia Browning of Arlington at home and asked her to vote with the Vermont Democratic Party and support an override of Governor Jim Douglas’s expected veto of the same sex marriage equality bill. During out warm and friendly chat Rep. Browning implied that she was the real loyal Democrat because unlike the Vermont Democratic Party, it is she who is supporting President Obama’s exact position on same sex marriage.

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Vermont Legislature Is First In The Nation To Legalize Gay Marriage Without Lawsuit

Posted in Marriage, Vermont with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by thepowerny


Thanks to Dlisted

Today is one of the most significant days ever in the history of gay rights.  This morning the Vermont legislature voted to overturn Governor Jim Douglas’s veto of the gay marriage bill they passed last week.  In doing so, Vermont became the first state ever to legalize gay marriage by legislative act without a court order.  Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, and California were all the result of court orders, as was the civil union law of New Jersey. 

This is significant because until today, the gay rights movement, to the extent that there is a movement, couldn’t point to any statewide political victories on marriage.  Currently 29 states have constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage, while another 17 have laws that have the same effect.  Until recent court victories, more than 46 states had such laws in effect.  And most of those were passed in the last 10 years.  Proposition 8 only reinforced what should have been obvious.  This movement became too reliant on lawyers and too reliant on lobbyists.  The major organizations touted their accomplishments and lulled people into complacency to the point that there was barely a a grass roots movement to mobilize when the need arose.

Fortunately, Proposition 8 made people angry enough to take action to engage political leaders directly to demand the change we deserve.  The Vermont House of Representatives, which only produced 95 votes for marriage last Friday, heard your voices.  The Democrats pressured their colleagues to stand together, and with the assistance of two Republicans, delivered 100 votes to overturn the veto.

So savor this victory.  Because these are the kind of victories we need if we are going to win true equality.  We can’t rely on lawyers.  In every state that has a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage,  it’s going to take you, and your anger, and your willingness to pick up a phone, blog about an action, forward a video, change your Facebook status, Twitter your network, email a message, recruit your friends, organize a meetings, write a check, support a primary challenger, make your voices heard, hold leaders accountable, and get out the vote that is going to win marriage equality state by state. 

And it’s going to take that same willingness to stay angry and to ask your friends to get angry that we are going to need if we are going to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and pass comprehensive civil rights legislation.

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