6.25.2011

thank you, new york!!! marriage equality comes to my home state

New York State, thank you for doing the right thing!

Forty-two years after Stonewall, same-sex couples have the legal right to marry in New York State. Whoo-hoo!

New York is the state of birth, of my parents' birth and even one grandparent's, my home for 44 years (minus my time in Philadelphia), and in so many ways, the place of my heart. At one point, it looked like I'd be ashamed of my home state, but now I am proud of it.

A special shout-out must go to Jason West, the former mayor of New Paltz, New York, a straight guy who said, this is ridiculous, and married same-sex couples in a parking lot. When I Googled "New Paltz mayor married same sex couples" to find West's name, this turned up: Awaiting a Big Day, and Recalling One in New Paltz.

I remembered this because I feel a personal connection to New Paltz and nearby Minnewaska State Park, related to our trips upstate with our dogs. I love that this happened in that same little college town.

We're getting there. It's an insane process, it's a no-brainer, it's long overdue, and it's happening way too slowly... but we're getting there. It's only a matter of time before this happens nationally in the US.

17 comments:

Amy said...

Yay! I saw this right before turning off the computer last night, and it just made me SO happy. We are in NYC for the weekend (first birthday for Nate), and I cannot wait to see how the city celebrates!

And yes, no matter where I live, NY will also always own a part of my heart. (But not the baseball part.)

M. Yass said...

Dear New York:

Welcome to 2005.

Love, the civilised world.

laura k said...

And yes, no matter where I live, NY will also always own a part of my heart. (But not the baseball part.)

Although even your first baseball team was in Queens.

laura k said...

(first birthday for Nate)

YAY! Such a joyous milestone. Have a great time! And as you said, what a fantastic time to be in NYC!

Amy said...

True about the Mets. And they are still my "second" team---though a far away second.

When people ask me where I am from, I still have to stop and think---Do they mean where I am really from (NY) or where I live (MA)? Depending on the context, I find myself often answering, "Well, I live in MA, but I grew up in NY." I have not lived in NY since 1975, over 35 years ago, but the connection is still very much there.

And so I am VERY relieved that BOTH of my states are now on the right side of this issue!

Amy said...

And thanks! Harvey and I get a real kick out of the fact that our daughter, born and raised and educated in MA until the age of 22, is now a hard core NYer, living in Brooklyn, working in Manhattan, and raising a child who will be born and raised in NY (and as a Mets fan...sigh). Amazing how some things come full circle.

laura k said...

At least he's being raised a Mets fan! And not...

My parents were both born and raised in Brooklyn. They moved to the suburbs in 1953.

In 1983, when I was 22, I moved to Brooklyn, not far from where my parents lived when they were first married (very near where your daughter lives now). When my parents lived there, it was as slum.

My grandparents and great aunts and uncles were still alive in 1983, and I would take the subway to visit them on my own.

They loved it, but they didn't see it as this big amazing thing as I did. To them, there was nothing unusual that someone would live in Brooklyn! Where else would I have lived? :)

Full circle!

Amy said...

We were at the NY Transit Museum yesterday---fun to see the old trains and turnstiles and to learn about the growth of the city and the construction of the subways (and the oppressive conditions endured by the mostly Italian immigrant and African American workers). Just another glimpse of how remarkable NYC really is.

allan said...

From marriageequality.org:

The ban on interracial marriages existed in the United States until the U.S. Supreme Court's Loving v. Virginia decision in 1967. California was the first state in the nation to end the ban on interracial marriage in 1948 with the State Supreme Court ruling in Perez v. Sharp. As can be seen in the table below, these court decisions didn't reflect the popular sentiment at the time. In 1958 (10 years after the Perez decision), the first Gallup poll on this issue showed 94% of Americans opposed interracial marriage ...

***

Canadian content!: Disapproval of same-sex marriage has dropped from 51% to 33% in 10 years (1996-2006).

laura k said...

Canadian content!: Disapproval of same-sex marriage has dropped from 51% to 33% in 10 years (1996-2006).

I believe there have been polls that show it even lower than that. And, significantly, broken out by age, it's totally top-heavy - the younger generations register almost unanimous approval. Obvious, yes, but a very positive sign for the future.

Regarding interracial couples, yesterday I noticed that in a Tim Horton's commercial featuring 2 couples going off for a day canoeing together featured one white couple and one mixed couple (one white, one brown). That's very new - and good.

allan said...

I suppose it's obvious, but I posted the interracial % to show that something that was nearly unanimous (yes, 50 years ago, but still ...) is commonly accepted and protested by only insane people. And plus things move much fatser now and I don't believe opposition to gay marriage (at least as long as polling has been done) was ever as high as 94%.

laura k said...

Thanks Allan, it never hurts to state the obvious, especially online.

Amy Davidson has a lovely little piece abt this in her New Yorker blog, Close Read. I'd like to paste the link but my BlackBerry won't cooperate. It's called Getting Married in New York.

Jere said...

this

laura k said...

Heh. Seen where?

Jere said...

I just saw it linked somewhere, I don't know anything about it. (But I did find this other good one while trying to find out.)

laura k said...

Another good one. Fun with pie charts.

tornwordo said...

I hope you're right. I don't think we'll ever go back but it would be nice to eventually have my birth nation's consent to bring my husband to live in the country. You know, when we can't take the winters anymore.