NYC Reacts to Gay Marriage Ruling

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Official NYC Council Photo by William Alatriste

Gay Americans’ arduous quest for civil rights claimed a transformative victory Friday in a Supreme Court decision backing marriage equality.

In the city where the gay rights movement is said to have begun in 1969 with the Stonewall riots, on the first day of Pride weekend, the ruling had particularly meaning.

Here’s how New York City’s leaders reacted:

Governor Andrew Cuomo: “New York has been a leader in the fight for marriage equality, and today’s Supreme Court decision affirms what we have fought so hard for – that marriage is a fundamental right that should be afforded to everyone, regardless of whom they love. When we passed the Marriage Equality Act in 2011, New York sent a message to the nation that it was time to end one of society’s greatest inequities, and I am thrilled to see the Court join us on the right side of history. Dividing people into first and second-class citizens is not only wrong, it runs contrary to who we are as a nation. From Stonewall to Edie Windsor, New Yorkers have always been on the front lines of the fight to ensure equality and fairness for all. Today, we are proud New Yorkers and proud Americans. Today, progress marches on.”

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman: “Today’s historic ruling has finally recognized the rights of same-sex couples to marry in all 50 states and stands on the side of dignity for all Americans. I am proud to have joined every individual who fought to secure equal rights and equal protection for all couples. Today, we celebrate a victory for justice.”

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie:“I applaud the Supreme Court for recognizing what New York State has known for the last several years: legalizing same sex marriage is a matter of equality and justice. Today’s court ruling not only removes marriage discrimination but it also moves us as a nation forward on our journey toward forming a more perfect union. I’m proud our nation has finally embraced what so many have long held to be a basic human right and made it crystal clear: from this day forward, no one will ever be denied their constitutional right to marry.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio: “America will never forget this day, and neither will people all across the world who know the meaning of love and compassion. June 26, 2015, will forever be memorialized as a pivotal moment in the history of our nation – the day the Supreme Court affirmed our core values of love, equality, and justice, rejected ignorance and malice, and appealed to the humanity in us all. Our country will finally afford millions of Americans the rights they have always deserved, but until now were unable to exercise. Today, this country is richer – filled with more equality, more acceptance, and more love than yesterday. And for the people of this city, where the movement for LGBT rights began in 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, we can be proud that we helped blaze the trail to this great victory.”

Comptroller Scott Stringer: “Today the highest court in our country affirmed that it is a fundamental right to love and live as we wish. Today is a great day not just for the LGBTQ community, but for the entire human race.”

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito: “This is an intensely meaningful, historic and affirming day in our nation’s history. … This decision is a cause for celebration, but it also a cause for reflection. This has been an extended struggle going back decades. For a long and unfortunate time, millions of LGBTQ couples were denied the right to marry. In countless election cycles they were demonized, degraded and used as political pawns in electoral games. But through it all, activists and allies persevered knowing that the cause of marriage equality is not only a moral and human right – it is also a constitutional right. As we celebrate this momentous decision, we must remind ourselves that the struggle for LGBTQ justice is not over. There are too many LGBTQ people suffering from unjust and pervasive discrimination all over the world and we will not rest until those injustices are made right. … This outcome is what happens when people persevere and fight injustices.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams: “Love wins. Today will be remembered as a day when America lived up to its Constitution and the principle that all people, regardless of who they love, are born with the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Today, every person in this country can pursue a lifetime of happiness with the person to whom they love and commit. Four years ago, I had one of the greatest honors of my life when I cast my vote in support of marriage equality in New York State. Today, that equality has spread to all fifty states. There is no more gay marriage or straight marriage in America. There is just marriage.”

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer: “Four years ago, New Yorkers and Americans across the country celebrated our state’s seemingly-impossible achievement in enacting marriage equality. Just four years later, we are celebrating a civil rights victory guaranteeing equal rights for same-sex couples across the country. Congratulations to the committed LGBT advocates and activists who have worked so hard to achieve this victory. Today our nation has taken another large step toward a more perfect union.”

Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez: “Today’s ruling is a monumental step forward not only for the LGBTQ community, but for all Americans. The Court has unequivocally recognized the constitutional right of Americans to marry the person they love regardless of sexual orientation. This decision constitutes an important milestone in our ongoing march toward a more perfect union. Now, we must all continue working together to end other types of discrimination and advance equality.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler: ” … It is unconscionable that anyone could continue to deny universal access and recognition, as well as the associated safety and security, to same-sex couples and their families, and I am glad the Court has expanded upon its decision in United States v. Windsor to ensure that all Americans are given the equal respect and support they deserve.”

Senator Tony Avella: “Four years ago in June, I had the opportunity to participate in one the most important votes of my career. It was then that the New York State Senate passed marriage equality. Then, it was as a proud New Yorker that I celebrated equal rights for our state. This morning, the Supreme Court issued a historic decision, and today, it is as a proud American that I celebrate equal rights for our country.”

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz: “It is difficult to put in to words how exciting this historic ruling truly is. I have always believed genuine marriage matters; a genuine marriage based on two consenting adults who love one another unconditionally, regardless of gender. For me this issue has never been about politics, it is about equality. The Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges is a milestone in the fight for nationwide equality, and will be remembered for generations.”

Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez: “From the steps of the Stonewall Inn to the steps of Honolulu City Hall, every LGBT American has the equal moral right to marry. This morning marks a turning point not only for our city and nation but our world as the largest human rights voice finally recognizes that every soul regardless of sexual orientation deserves to be seen as an equal. No longer will our nation continue its piecemeal approach to human rights depriving some recognizing others. Now, we lead. Congratulations to all the LGBT Americans, today is your day.”

Councilman Donovan Richards: “‎The Supreme Court’s ruling today on marriage equality reassures the founding principles of this great nation. When two people love each other, they will no longer have to worry about expressing that love to each other, and what better way to express it than through marriage. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has been guaranteed to millions of Americans and we can all be proud of our democracy this morning.”

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  • 2star

    President Obama shall be named as the ” Father of LGBT”.

  • 2star

    That what Americans want …. Land of Total Freedom.

    Marijuana been legalized in 2 states … and many more states are waiting in line. Sooner or later the Supreme Court will backs the Grass smoking ( no doubt about it ).