Community protests marriage bill defeat

Community and political leaders in western Queens joined with more than 100 marriage-equality proponents to protest last week’s defeat of the same-sex marriage legislation in Albany.

At a rally organized by City Councilmember-elect Danny Dromm, nearly a dozen people spoke about their disappointment with the State Senate vote – especially those Senators from Queens who voted against the legislation – and renewed their call for marriage equality.

“This is a rally of a community that is both hurt and angry, but driven more than ever to achieve full equality,” said Councilmember-elect James Van Bramer, who will represent western Queens, at a rally held outside the Jackson Heights post office on 82nd Street on Monday night, December 7. Van Bramer and Dromm are both openly gay and will begin serving in the City Council in January.

During the rally, which contained passionate pleas from a number of same-sex couples as well as a handful of religious leaders who support the legislation, much of the anger was directed at State Senator Hiram Monserrate. Some speakers at the rally criticized Monserrate for reneging on his support of the legislation and voting against the measure.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I just don’t understand how someone who was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend who can turn around then and stop two loving people from getting married,” Dromm said.

One of the legislators at the rally was Queens Assemblymember Jose Peralta, who has already announced that he is going to primary Monserrate in September 2010. Peralta, who said he has voted for the same-sex marriage bill three times during his last seven years in the Assembly, pledged his commitment to the legislation if he is elected to the Senate in November.

“I will continue that fight when I get to the New York State Senate; I make that pledge to you tonight,” Peralta said. “I will continue to fight to make sure that one day sooner than later we will have equal rights and we will have same-sex marriage in the State of New York.”

Read what others had to say about the same sex marriage vote by clicking here