We are elated to hear that the legislature of New Jersey just passed a marriage bill. While we know they face an uphill battle with Governor Christie's threatened veto, we congratulate our neighbors including Garden State Equality who are taking a strong stand for equality and justice. The people of New Jersey should expect their governor to show leadership - like Governor Cuomo did here in New York – and sign this bill into law.
With the Maryland House of Delegates also scheduled to debate marriage today and reports that another marriage bill would be introduced in Rhode Island—not to mention enormous progress in California and Washington last week—the momentum you created here in New York continues to ripple across the nation.
And tireless activists continue to build off that momentum across the state. Here’s what you may have missed…
GENDA Letter Drop-Off Day in Albany!
Volunteer Theo Zegers holding hundreds of letters supporting GENDA
Check out this blog post from one of our star volunteers:
“On February 6, I am content to report, I was part of a very successful afternoon in which approximately ten concerned citizens, including transgender activists, their families, friends and allies, went and distributed at least 2,000 letters from across the state of New York. (These letters are a mere snowball in the avalanche of support that will follow.)” Read more.
Talking Directly to Legislators on Long Island
One of the first actions taken by the newly-formed Long Island Transgender Advocates Coalition was to attend Senator John Flanagan’s town hall meeting on February 2. Approximately 20 members let the senator know that Long Islanders care about transgender equality and justice and want legislation protecting transgender people from discrimination. We are proud to be a founding member of the coalition.
Advocacy in Action in Albany County
As you know, we had been deeply concerned with the nomination of Tom Marcelle for Albany County Attorney. Mr Marcelle had been Senior Counsel to the Alliance Defense Fund, an extremist right-wing organization fighting against LGBT equality. Earlier this week, he was confirmed to the position. We have assurances from County Executive Dan McCoy that Marcelle will uphold the law and treat LGBT people in Albany County fairly and equally. The Pride Agenda will be vigilant in keeping him to his word and we will work with the County Executive to find new ways to ensure the basic protections of our community.
As we know from our many years of advocacy, we won't win every fight, but it is essential to make our voices heard so our government knows that we are always keeping watch.
Staten Island Transgender Equality and Justice Service
Pride Agenda's Kate McDonough with
activist Ron B
Last Sunday, Lead Organizer Kate McDonough moderated a panel and attended a special church service called Beyond the Binary Code: Gender in America. Read her account on our blog.
Winter Heat Tickets on Sale!
Our annual party for women and allies, Winter Heat, is Thursday, March 15 at Marquee Nightclub in Manhattan. Tickets are going fast, so get yours now. With fantastic dancing, a lounge for mingling and an extra VIP hour for sponsors, it will be the perfect start of another great year and I can’t wait to see you there!
Early Bird Registration for Equality & Justice Day
If you’ve been a part of this incredible day before, you know how important it is to make it to the Capitol this year. The early bird rate is for registrations submitted by March 9 so don’t delay! Please help us keep up the momentum. We need to thank legislators who voted for marriage and remind them there’s so much more to do, like protect transgender New Yorkers from discrimination and safeguard funding that takes care of our whole community.
Onward to Equality and Justice!
Ross D. Levi
Empire State Pride Agenda
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