As your constituent, I strongly urge you to pass the Marriage Equality Act. As a free person, protected under the Constitution of the United States, I want you to return to me my right to choose who I spend my life with and to support marriage equality in New York. The decision to marry is a private one for me to share with my future spouse, and not with my government. Same-sex couples deserve an equal opportunity to express love through marriage and to receive equal access to its “protections, responsibilities, rights, obligations, and benefits” (Section 1, Marriage Equality Act). What stands before you is both a question of fairness and a question of personal freedom. If we continue to subject ourselves to a legal system that punishes some marriages while rewarding others, who among us can say we are free? All we want is the same legal treatment of all marriages. That is not too much to ask.
The State of New York has long been a leader and an example to the rest of our nation that change and progress are possible. Our country, in its lifelong pursuit of a “more perfect union,” will watch New York closely as we stand poised to make history. Our neighbors in Massachusetts and Connecticut who have taken this next step, as well as our neighbors in New Jersey and Pennsylvania who are on path to join us, look to New York to offer it’s support for marriage equality and to stand as an example across the United States. Upon passage of this bill, New York will shine as a beacon of hope across America and the world, proving that tolerance and equal protection under the law must prevail over the injustices we inherit.
We, the people of New York, frustrated with our government’s inability to cooperate in these deeply divisive times, hope that you will see our place in history and join your fellow Senators in making the right choice. Vote in support of the Marriage Equality Act and cast a ballot for a better tomorrow.