Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Make an Impact!

I did it. I called my state senator!

I'm a really out-going people-person, but one thing about me? I'm terrified of cold-calling. If you read this blog, you know what happened to me when I went to the phone banks to call people in North Carolina and ask them to vote for Obama. A complete mumbling mess!

So it was great fear that I dialed my state senator today to ask him to vote YES on the marriage equality bill. I was crossing my fingers for a voicemail box, so when then secretary answered and I got so nervous I just blurted out "Please YES, Marriage Equality Bill" She said, "What's your name?" I'd forgotten to give my name!

This is a long-winded way of saying: If I can do it, so can you! Easy directions here.

I went to the Marriage Equality rally in Times Square on Sunday (I did not, as Bam implies, go to bed at 3pm!) and was inspired. It was put together by Broadway Impact (a group of Broadway professionals), as a way to thank our Governor David Paterson for putting forth the Marriage Equality legislation. We have just a few weeks left until they vote on the bill---so the whole event was meant to galvanize each one of us into calling our senators, urging them to vote YES.

The event featured so many incredible speakers. What a line-up of support! On 6th avenue, we gathered to hear supporters like our Governor (he showed!) David Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn, the cast of Broadway's HAIR came marching down the street in hippy gear to sing "Age of Aquarius" and (of course) "Let the Sunshine in"....David Hyde Pearce (and his partner of 25 years) spoke, Cheyenne Jackson sang, Sex and the City's Miranda and Charlotte showed, and Miranda a.k.a. Cynthia Nixon announced her engagement to her girlfriend.

Cynthia also gave a very moving speech about equality---telling our detractors that our marriage rights have as much to do with "you" as integration had to do with whites; as the female vote had to do with men.

Everyone on stage urged the thousands on the street to tell everyone they know in NY, from Nyack to Niagra, to call their senators and urge them to vote YES on marriage equality. The time is now. If I did it, so can you....find out who is your senator, and how to call them...right here!


carmel said...

that was on the news here in australia!
... was that you in the background?

Tony said...

Hey Jesse -

Good work contacting your State Senator re the Gay Marriage Bill.
There's a front page article about it in my edition of the NYT today. It says the bill's opponents are late getting organized. But the point is, they're getting organized. So your call was important.
The piece also points out that the same sex marriage is being promoted as an equal rights issue. That should give wavering legislators more than sufficient political cover. They can tell their conservative attackers "Hey, I'm just defending the constitution."
For all you constitutional law wonks out there, the logic is clearly expressed in the recent Iowa Supreme Court case . Here's a quote:
"We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective. ... We have a constitutional duty to ensure equal protection of
the law. " (Varnum v Brien)
You could email the language and citation to your State Senator.
Good luck.