Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Beacon For Social Justice

Why, o, why do basic human rights have to be legislated in America? Last night the New York State Legislature passed a landmark bill legalizing same sex marriage. Why is this important? Because the way our legal system works in America, a legal marriage is the key to insurance coverage, right on down the line to who gets visitation rights when a loved one is dying. Giving legal acknowledgement of a relationship seems to be such a basic concept, but the unconstitutional opposition based on kowtowing to the prejudices of religious groups has been a major social impediment. Here's some of  Governor Cuomo's remarks as he congratulated the Legislature for their brave action:

CUOMO: And what we accomplished with marriage equality, really in some ways brings it all home, because this state, when it is at its finest, is a beacon for social justice. The legacy of this state was that we were the progressive capitol of the nation. And when you look back at so many of the great progressive movements that were birthed here in New York, the women's rights movement was birthed here in New York. The environmental rights movement was birthed here in New York, Storm King on the Hudson.
The workers' rights movement was birthed here in New York after the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire. All these great progressive movements, the gay rights movement was birthed at Stonewall. And what this state said today brings this discussion of marriage equality to a new plane. That's the power and the beauty of New York.
The other states look to New York for the progressive direction. And what we said today is you look to New York once again, because New York made a powerful statement, not just to the people of New York, but to people all across this nation.
We reached a new level of social justice this evening, marriage equality. I said to the legislators, you look at the first word, marriage, it's really about the second word, equality. It's really about New Yorkers, our brothers and sisters, looking at us and saying, we want equality. We want equality in society, equality in our relationships, equality in our love, equality in our families. We want full recognition, marriage equality, and we did it today.

1 comment:

squatlo said...

I can't for the life of me figure out why we need to cater to the whims of the God Squad on what is clearly (!!!) a Civil Rights issue. Whether or not churches are willing to perform gay weddings matters not... what matters are the legal protections provided by marriage.

Swear to god, I don't understand why this is even up for debate.