New York City

Love Wins: New York reactions to same-sex marriage ruling overwhelmingly positive

June 26, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The sign outside of Foragers Market on Front Street in DUMBO celebrated Friday's Supreme Court ruling. Photo by Mary Frost
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The United States Supreme Court ruled on Friday that a ban on marriage equality for same-sex couples was unconstitutional, opening the door for LGBTQ marriages across all 50 states. The reaction by most has been overwhelmingly supportive in New York, though some have spoken out against the landmark decision.

“I knew in my heart this day would come,” said Marc Levine, president of the Gay/Straight Alliance of New York State Justice System. “The reality is more beautiful than I could have imagined. The dream of a world where every human being is afforded respect, kindness, all of the official rights that a human being needs to create a life worth living. Today the U.S., my government, which I’m very proud to be a part of and to watch grow, has recognized that we need to extend the level of respect under the law that all people enjoy to same-sex couples. We’ve taken a giant leap forward in the Civil Rights Movement.”

President Obama gave a speech in front of the White House shortly after the announcement was made. He said that justice arrived like a thunderbolt.

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“Our nation was founded on a bedrock principle — we are all created equal,” Obama said. “The project of each generation is to bridge the meaning of those founding words with the reality of changing times. The never-ending quest to ensure those words remain true for every single American.

“The progress on this journey often comes in small increments,” Obama continued. “Sometimes two steps forward, one step back, compelled by the consistent effort of dedicated citizens. And then sometimes there are days like this when that slow steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the country is much better off because of the decision than it was a day ago.

“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,” de Blasio said in a statement issued by his office.

In Brooklyn, Borough President Eric Adams echoed the sentiments of many when he said, “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,” Adams said. “Today, every person in this country can pursue a lifetime of happiness with the person to whom they love and commit. There is no more gay marriage or straight marriage in America. There is just marriage.”

Mickey Heller, chair of Brooklyn Pride, Inc., told the Brooklyn Eagle, “I am just filled with incredible emotions and tears welling up in my eyes. For all those who fought for so long, but did not live to see this day; for those couples who now will be able to have their marriages recognized all over the country; and for the LGBT youth who can take one step closer to realizing complete equality.  We still have a long road to go and many hurdles to overcome, but today marks an incredibly historic occasion.”

Debbie Brennan, chair of Brooklyn Community Pride Center, said, “Today the Brooklyn Community Pride Center along with the entire LGBTQ community celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision giving same sex couples the right and freedom to wed. This is a joyous and historical occasion for all of us. We take our hats off to the Supreme Court for making a decision that was right.”

Governor Cuomo announced that he will light up One World Trade Center in rainbow colors on Sunday and issued a positive statement.

“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.”

“From Stonewall to Edie Windsor, New Yorkers have always been on the front lines of the fight to ensure equality and fairness for all,” Cuomo continued. “Today, we are proud New Yorkers and proud Americans. Today, progress marches on.”

“As has been said, ‘the arc of history is long and it bends in the direction of justice.’ Thank you to five Supreme Court heroes for helping bend it a little sooner,” U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan-Bensonhurst) said, “We have been long overdue in delivering justice for the men and women who have had to suffer because of who they love. I applaud the U.S. Supreme Court for their 5-4 ruling, which will no longer allow state governments to burden their citizens by refusing to grant gay and lesbian couples marriage licenses based on who they love.”

Not all reactions were positive, however. The New York State Conservative Party blasted the court for “redefining marriage” and the American Family Association (AFA) accused the court of tyranny.

“The Supreme Court has summarily dismissed the fact that marriage is an institution with a unique meaning and purpose — to bring the two halves of humanity together to give children the best opportunity to experience the love of both their mother and father,” the NYS Conservative Party said in a statement. “Every civilization since the dawn of time has recognized that this is a universal, foundational truth, yet five justices have decided to redefine marriage to support an ideology that has little tolerance of those who support traditional marriage.”

“This morning’s ruling rejects not only thousands of years of time-honored marriage but also the rule of law in the United States,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “In states across the nation, voters acted through the democratic process to protect marriage and the family. Yet, courts around the country chose to disregard the will of the people in favor of political correctness and social experimentation.”


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