Translation from English

Friday, June 24, 2016

Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell

Celebrating NYC Pride & the Fifth Anniversary of the
Marriage Equality Act 

June 24, 2016

Dear Neighbor, 

This Sunday marks almost half a century since the first New York City Pride March in 1970. A great deal has happened with the LGBT movement since those advocates and allies marched through the streets. I was proud to author the bill that made marriage equality the law in New York five years ago today. Nearly a year ago it became the law of the whole nation. And less than two weeks ago, 49 people were murdered in the Orlando massacre. In many of these moments we have seen great joy and celebration, but in others we have experienced devastating hatred and loss.
Since I took office in 2002, as the first openly-gay man elected to the New York State Assembly, I have fought for the rights and dignity of the LGBT community. As the author of the Marriage Equality Act, I worked alongside members of the legislature, judges, the governor, the LGBT community, and my husband, John, to legalize marriage for all New Yorkers. For years, John and I had kept our relationship a secret in order to live in a society that was unable or unwilling to accept people like us. Over the years, however, these social views have started to change. Through advocacy, open communication, and progressive legislation, we have broadened acceptance of the LGBT community.
After the Marriage Equality Act passed, John and I, like many other couples, were finally able to marry. Yet despite huge progress in promoting equality for the LGBT community, acts of hatred like those committed in Orlando continue to threaten these achievements, and ultimately our lives. While we must celebrate our victories, we cannot ignore the reality that hatred, left unchecked, can lead to tragedy. There is still much work to be done in the struggle for justice and equality in New York. I plan to continue fighting and speaking up for those whose voices might otherwise be lost, whether it's through efforts to protect our most vulnerable children from the scourge of bullying, measures to reform our criminal justice system, or communities burdened by over-development.
As we march this weekend and continue to stand for equality, the LGBT community and its supporters must stand up to hate. Stand up and speak out against homophobia and bigotry, support legislation that promotes equality, vote for LGBT politicians, candidates, and other diverse voices who will advocate for the LGBT community. Let us march together this weekend to stop the hate and voice our love. I look forward to seeing you at the Pride events this weekend!

Very truly yours, 

Danny O'Donnell
Daniel O'Donnell, the first openly gay man elected to the New York State Assembly, has been a progressive voice advocating fair and sensible legislation since he was elected to represent the 69th District in 2002, including the author and sponsor of New York State's Marriage Equality Law, which was signed into law in 2011. His district includes Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights, and the Upper West Side. He serves as the Chair of the Correction Committee, and of the Codes Subcommittee on Criminal Procedure; and is a member of the Education; Codes; Environmental Conservation; and Tourism, Arts & Sports Development committees.
Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell, 245 West 104th Street, Suite 1D, New York, NY 10025