In New York State, the drive to pass marriage equality legislation is bearing good fruit. It isn’t just moving toward legislative success, with passage in the state Assembly, and a vote to come this month in the state Senate. The movement is also breaking open public discussions of the status of non-heterosexuals in New York. People are talking about ideas in a new way, and hearing voices they hadn’t paid attention to before.
Those people include politicians. Last week, I referred to a group of five Democrats in the New York State Senate who were planning to vote against equal marriage rights. This week, it appears that one of those Democrats may be peeling away from that group of resistance. David Valesky has stated that he’s changed from opposition to open consideration of marriage equality.
The reason for this change? He’s met with constituents who are being discriminated against by New York’s current, outdated marriage restrictions. Valesky is seeing these people in person, as they are, not the freaks he might otherwise imagine them to be. One can see by his statements that Senator Valesky is also learning to understand the debate not as about granting rights to same-sex couples, but as a matter of equality, in which the rights people already have need to be respected in the law.
Activism in favor of same sex marriage seems to be working. Keep it up, New York.