Friday, July 1, 2011
Liberty in New York State
TD and I marching down Fifth Avenue in the Pride Parade with Judson Memorial Church.
Last Friday night TD and I were sitting on the couch watching live on tv the New York State Senate vote count in Albany on the bill to legalize same-sex marriage, and were elated when it passed. Thanks to our friend Senator Tom Duane who has been working on the legislation for many years and to our great governor Andrew Cuomo who was committed to getting the bill passed, same sex couples can now be legally married in New York, the third largest state in the nation – hooray! I have to say that above and beyond the marriage issue it feels like a validation in terms of equality that I never thought that I would see in my lifetime. It feels great.
On Saturday TD and I walked over to the Stonewall Bar where the gay rights movement began in 1969 with the Stonewall riots when the patrons there fought back against the harassing police. When we walked up to the bar I noticed a tv truck with a satellite dish across the street. TD and I had our picture taken out front by our friend Sherry and we went inside for a beer. I had never been inside Stonewall before – tiny little place with a low ceiling and a long bar. Unlikely spot for the launch of a civil rights movement. By the time we were walking home I was getting emails and phone calls – we were on the NBC Nightly News. You can see us in the background having our picture taken on the clip at about 33 seconds.
Frontrunners – the gay running group. TD and I were both members, and that's how we met – 26 years ago – so I have a sentimental spot for the Frontrunners group.
Finally our group stepped off into the parade. It is always a thrill to walk down the center of Fifth Avenue and see all the way down to Washington Square in the Village. How often can you walk down the middle of Fifth Avenue?
At 29th Street the members of Marble Collegiate Church handed out cups of cold water and a message:
It was a great weekend in New York City. There was the feeling that justice had been done. I applaud the Republican lawmakers who crossed party lines to give all New Yorkers who love one another the freedom to marry.
Have a happy Fourth of July weekend!
Labels: Gay pride