Statement of New York State Senator
Thomas K. Duane on the Iowa Supreme Court
Striking Down Ban on Civil Same-Sex Marriages

April 3, 2009

Today the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously decided to strike down as unconstitutional the state's ban limiting marriage to a man and a woman. I emphatically applaud the Court for recognizing that equal protection under the law is a fundamental human right. Shamefully, we in the state of New York do not enjoy these same protections.

Similar decisions in favor of equal marriage rights have been reached in Connecticut and Massachusetts. New York's distinguished Senator Charles E. Schumer has recently declared his support for same-sex civil marriage and said that we are now ready for a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has generously offered to testify in favor of legalizing same-sex civil marriage in New York. Across the nation and in this state, the tide is turning for all of those who value equal rights

The Iowa ruling brings the right of civil marriage for same-sex couples one step closer to reality for all United States citizens, including New Yorkers. It will take hard work, but New York's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community will be afforded the right to civil marriage. Same-sex civil marriage has already passed the State Assembly and it is only a matter of time before it passes the Senate and is signed into law by Governor David A. Paterson. It is my promise to the LGBT community that I will never stop fighting until we win same-sex civil marriage. I am your advocate and I will never give up.

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