The National Center for Lesbian Rights Disappointed in New York Senate Vote Rejecting Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

Today, in a 38-24 vote, the New York State Senate failed to pass a bill which would have extended the right to marry to same-sex couples.

As Lisa Keen of Keen News Service reported in the Bay Area Reporter, Senator Bill Perkins, an African American Democrat from Harlem, addressed the bill’s openly gay sponsor, Tom Duane (D-Manhattan), by saying “Thank you, brother.” Then he turned to the galley where marriage equality supporters sat watching the debate and said, “Thank you, movement—thank you for your vigilance and your push to get us where we are today.” Regardless of the outcome of the vote, said Perkins, change is coming “and I can see Dr. Martin Luther King smiling down on us today—recognizing that his sacrifice was not in vain.”

Statement from Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

“The vote today in the New York Senate is a heartbreaker. To see justice denied yet again is crushing. But we cannot be down for long. The lessons of every human rights movement teach us that setbacks and dark days are always the risk in fighting for equality and justice. We applaud the courage of Senator Tom Duane, sponsor of the bill and of the 24 Senators who stood for equality, fairness, and love. Their names will be remembered and so will their votes. The time is long past for those who reject our basic dignity and value to do so without consequence. The votes of those who affirmed our equality and humanity will be vindicated, of that we can be certain.”

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