New York, NY, May 9, 2012—Statement by Interim Executive Director Lynn Faria:
"We are thrilled by President Obama's declaration of support for marriage equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.
"The President now joins the majority of New Yorkers and Americans who believe that all committed and loving couples should have the opportunity to enjoy the protections that marriage offers to them and their families.
"However, the President's support for marriage equality does not mean that the fight for fairness and equality for LGBT individuals and their families is over. The Defense of Marriage Act still exists on the federal level, barring legally married same-sex New Yorkers from accessing the 1,138 federal rights and responsibilities that come with marriage. Clearly the work is not over, but we welcome President Obama's voice to the chorus of supporters who believe that same-sex couples should have the ability to marry in their home state and have that marriage recognized by our federal government.
"President Obama is the first sitting United States president to support marriage. Clearly, the will of the people—here in New York and across America—is being heard."
Closer to home, the Pride Agenda held its annual Equality & Justice Day in Albany yesterday to thank legislators for passing marriage here in the Empire State last June and to advocate for a number of important issues including legislation to add protections for transgender individuals to New York's anti-discrimination laws. That legislation, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), has already passed the Assembly and Governor Andrew Cuomo has pledged his support.