Last night the New York State Assembly passed the marriage equality bill 89-52. B and I were present for the long 4+ hours of discussion and while it was a long evening, it was inspiring and educational. From the notes we took, 6 assemblymembers changed their 2007 vote from no to yes. Most of them spoke about the change of mind they had experienced and to me, their words were the most compelling because it means that we can change the minds of people with our stories.
Our visibility and the stories of our lives are changing the way this nation thinks about equality and humanity. We are all familiar with the constitutional statement that "all men are created equal", but we each have a different interpretation of the statement. In my experience, more and more people are beginning to have the same interpretation, one that leaves religion out of the equation and one that uses the actual definitions of all and equal, not his/her own definitions.
The bill now travels to the Senate, where the majority of votes are still not on our side. B and I met with our senator's aide a few weeks ago and while he wasn't hostile to the issue, he wasn't engaged. This is a problem. If the issue isn't seen as important or pressing or worth the time to read through the material, our stories are not reaching the senators and minds will not be changed.
Being the gay media targets B and I seem to be, we were approached for an interview by the local news. My poor B got totally cut out of the speaking part, but she looked good next to me.