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PMUC in the News: This article was published July 21, 2007 in The Batavia Daily News
July 21, 2007
pushes Hawley, colleagues on gay marriage
A group of about 40 young adults are crisscrossing New York state, visiting
state legislators and their staffs, pressing for New York to become just the
second state to sanction gay marriages.
group has separated into four groups and is visiting state legislators who are
fans and foes of gay marriage. On Friday, eight members of Soulforce, a
legislation passed the Assembly by an 85-61 vote. Only four of the 42
Republicans voted for the bill, including Teresa Sayward of Elizabethown, who
has a gay son.
vote for my constituency," Hawley said Friday after the meeting with
Soulforce. "I don't vote my personal feelings."
met as a group in
Soulforce leaders said they were disappointed with Hawley's responses, the group
credited him for having a face-to-face meeting. Most other legislators are
having staff people handle the discussion, Soulforce leaders said.
laudable they're coming to people on both sides of the aisle, trying to get all
different viewpoints," Hawley said. "If it's possible on my schedule,
I'll meet with anyone, anywhere."
other states have approved civil unions or domestic partnerships, allowing
partners to receive health benefits and have privacy privileges at hospitals,
you name it anything besides marriage there is an implied inferiority,"
said Jarrett Lucas, Soulforce's young adult director of outreach.
Eliot Spitzer favors extending marriage rights to gay couples, and introduced a
law April 27 to do so.
Assembly backing the bill, the
Assembly's vote June 19 was hailed by Empire State Pride Agenda as a critical
Assembly did the right thing," Alan Van Cappelle, Pride Agenda executive
director, said June 19 on the group's Web site. "Now it's time for the
Senate to do the right thing."
Cappelle said the legislation is crucial for gay couples to get 1,324 rights
that are bestowed on other married couples, including the right to visit a loved
one in the hospital.
Limjoco, 26, of
simply, I want to get married someday," he said while walking on
group is urging gay, bisexual and transgendered people to send Bruno a pair of
their old shoes "so he knows what it's like to walk into our shoes without
marriage equality," Lucas said.
all of the Soulforce members are gay. Alexandra Lundy, 20, of
are beautiful, beautiful people who do so much for our community," Lundy
meeting with Hawley, Soulforce met with four members of the
church sees the current laws forbidding gay marriage as discriminatory, said
David Markham, a member of the church and executive director of the
Genesee-Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.
a counselor for 38 years,
agency, GCASA, has a policy of extending health insurance benefits to partners
of employees who have been living together for at least six months.
church leaders will try to talk with other local church bodies, presenting gay
marriage as a "social justice" issue,
said he believes people who oppose gay rights are too preoccupied with
is not about bodies," he said about gay marriage. "It's about hearts
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