Yesterday the NY State Senate voted against a measure that would have granted marriage equality to all New Yorkers.
Every Republican senator voted against the measure including Stephen Saland (518-455-2411, firstname.lastname@example.org), representative of NY district 41. The district I live in. Mr. Saland decided yesterday that I shouldn’t have the same basic rights as the mixed-sex couple that lives across the road from me.
In addition to the predictable Republicans, eight Democrats also voted against the measure. Here they are listed with their district or region in parenthesis:
Darrel Aubertine (Upstate) – email@example.com
William Stachowski (Upstate) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph Addabbo (Queens) – email@example.com
George Onorato (Queens) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruben Diaz (Bronx) – email@example.com
Carl Kruger (Kings) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Shirley Huntley (Queens) – email@example.com
Hiram Monserrate (Queens) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Of this list, you might be familiar with Hiram Monserrate. In March of 2009, Monserrate was indicted by a grand jury on three felony and three misdemeanor charges for the brutal attack of his girlfriend. Apparently, Monserrate savagely attacked his girlfriend and slashed her face. He claimed he was innocent and said he tripped and accidentally cut his girlfriend with a broken drinking glass, requiring more than 20 stitches over her left eye. Monserrate was found guilty of the lesser charge of third-degree assault for dragging a bleeding women down the hallway. That charge is only a misdemeanor, which is how Monserrate has continued to keep his job in the senate and yesterday had the power and ability to tell me that I can’t marry the person I love and have spent more than nine face-slashing-free years with.
Regardless of where you stand on the moral issue of marriage equality, how can you ignore common sense? NY is on the verge of bankruptcy with job and service cuts looming. How can any semi inteligent person say no to the added financial boon gay marriage can bring to the state? As most of my straight friends can attest to, getting married is expensive. Even if you get creative and do it on the cheap, you are still going to be spending money for basic items associated with the marriage. Even if all you do is have a civil ceremony performed by a justice of the peace, the state would have received the marriage license application fees.
So what to do next? Personally, I’m fortunate enough to live 5 minutes from the NY/MA border so I’ll take my disposable, childless, two-person income spending power over the border. I realize that this punishes local businesses but those local business owners probably voted for Stephen Saland so why should I care about their profit. If you are a local business owner in district 41, then email me at email@example.com, and I’ll add you to my “Ok to shop list”.
If you are wondering why we don’t make that short drive to MA to get married the reason is that I believe marriage means something. It shouldn’t be a matter of convenience vs. inconvenience and we shouldn’t have to cross a state border like someone buying fireworks or booze on Sunday to get married.