New York Deserves Better.

True New Yorkers don't give up.

I am born and bred a New Yorker. Born in NYC, Raised on Long Island, that place is my home. NYC is my City, and I miss it immensely while I’m at school.

I’ve always loved being from New York not just because of all the things we have right at our fingertips – beautiful art, fantastic broadway shows, awesome shopping – but because of what I always thought was the tolerant and embracing attitude of the City.

Despite our abrasiveness, we are proud to be New Yorkers, because New Yorkers accept people and love them for who then are. Crazy bum on the street, man who thinks the apocalypse is coming, woman who sings to herself on the A train, the business man who always looks stressed out and doesn’t remember to stand up to give you a seat when you’re carrying a suitcase, the tourists flooding times square – we accept them all. We tolerate them. We understand them.

When I heard that a Gay Marriage Bill was going up for a vote in the New York State Legislature, I became nervous. My entire view of my home state felt like it was being put up on the line: How tolerant and accepting are we really? Are we going to be on the right side of history? My mind was spinning all through class – I even had the Senate debate muted up on my laptop, as though I could read body language as an indicator of what was going on. (Needless to say, the debate going on at the front of the room on the economic crisis was basically lost on me for today.)

So when I got back to my room, I flipped open my laptop as quickly as possible and watched the Senators vote. People gave moving speeches, referencing Martin Luther King and the struggle for Civil Rights of African-Americans, and talked about how in this vote, elections don't matter. What matters is doing what is right.The vote failed 38-24.None of the Republicans in the New York State Legislature voted for the bill, which Democratic Governor David Paterson said he would pass if it were to come across his desk.This is clearly the work of voting along party lines, forgetting what's REAL about this issue, about the discrimination felt by those who can't marry the ones they love until it is legalized.When the vote when through, I was ashamed. I was upset, I was angry, and I was wound up.

And that’s what I’ve come to realize is a hidden blessing in this vote. So many thought New York  was a given Yes for gay marriage – and it wasn’t. The things we truly want in this world, we have   to fight for.

So I’m fighting. I want to bring another bill to the New York State Legislature, and I want them to vote on it – not on who wins what election and what party says what, but about the issue that is so important: equal rights for marriage. As a voting citizen, a voting New Yorker, I feel that I’ve earned the right to have my state representatives let my voice be heard.

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About beckawall

AU Alumni, feminist, master of peanut butter brownies. Lover of Teddy Roosevelt, politics, analyzing popular culture, and general nerdery.

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