Wednesday, January 26, 2011

If You Don't Believe in Same-Sex Marriage, Don't Marry Someone of the Same Sex...

sayeth the great comedian, Wanda Sykes. 

However, if you DO believe that every man and woman (whether born or presenting as that gender or not), has the right to marry whomever he/she wishes, then what are you doing on Tuesday, February 8, otherwise known as Marriage Equality Day 2011

To encourage Albany to legislate ASAP on this issue, Marriage Equality New York ("MENY") will be holding a conference, in Albany, on February 8, with "thousands" of people expected to attend to "meet[ ] with our elected officials and spend[ ] time opening their hearts and minds to the need for marriage equality," (especially those 30 NYS Senators with an anti-equality voting record).  Registration costs only $50 and includes roundtrip transportation from New York City to Albany, and lunch.  (Tip: If you have your own transportation, you can still meet up with MENY and lunch will be provided for only $15). THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER FOR THE NYC BUS TO ALBANY IS TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27. 

Why should you care if you're straight and thus have the freedom to marry whomever you choose to love (or even someone you don't love, but who buys you lots of nice things...)?  Well, most likely you have friends, co-workers, or family members who are LGBT, perhaps some of whom have not yet "come out."  Like Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and wife, who married last year outside of New York State, in a form of protest to New York's failure to allow gay couples to marry, do not be afraid to show your solidarity as a "Straight American for Gay Equality".

Still don't think this matters?  Consider this -- homosexuality is NOT unique to "homo" sapiens, despite the shared prefix.  In fact, scientists have confirmed its existence across the animal kingdom.  This is not a nature vs. nurture debate, it's biology!  And even if "sexual preference" is indeed proven someday to be only a "preference," or you just don't believe that it is innate, consider the constituional zone of privacy and the right to keep the government out of our bedrooms, the problems of not being able to qualify for certain tax and health insurance benefits, potentially not being able to decide on a loved one's medical fate (without legal marriage, your partner's parents or next of kin may have the first right to determine whether or not to keep him/her on life support), or a loved one being deported because his/her immigration status expired (whereas a straight couple could easily avoid this by legitimizing their relationship through marriage), and the litany of other reasons why it is simply absurd to challenge marriage equality and utterly incomprehendible why such legislation still has not passed in New York State.  Moreover, studies have shown that being raised by a same-sex couple does not have any detrimental effects on children, which has been a main argument by those seeking to stall marriage equality efforts across the nation.  Rather, these couples/families function as a unit much the same as straight couples/families, despite the obvious differences.

There are over 1,000 state and federal rights being denied to same-sex couples in New York and other states operating under antiquated laws, and the time for change is now.  For more information, including a schedule of events and bus times for MENY's Marriage Equality Day 2011, click here:  Even if you don't have the time or endurance to attend the actual event (I admit I am not personally taking the day off of work, as much as I do support the cause), you can still help by clicking on the link and showing your support with a donation.  You can also register for a scholarship to attend.


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