Dozens of advocates for Lesbian, Gay, Bi−Sexual and Transgender (LGBT) causes gathered together at Washington Park in Park Slope Sunday to demand that Albany says “I do” to gay marriage.
Holding signs reading “Let us pursue happiness” and “We demand civil rights now!” those in attendance at the Third Street park between Fourth and Fifth avenues grooved to musical performances, listened to spirited speeches and helped fill out a petition geared toward Canarsie State Senator John Sampson, who, amid the madness in the State Senate, has been elevated to Senate Democratic Conference Leader.
“He seems to be a fair−minded senator whose very inclusive and we’re very hopeful that he will be on our side on this issue,” said Bob Zuckerman, a longtime LGBT advocate and candidate in the 39th Council District who spoke at the rally. “People are obviously very much concerned about marriage equality and we’re hopeful it will pass, but we really want to advocate strongly to Senator Sampson that once this Senate mess gets straightened out that they put the bill up for a vote.”
While most Brooklyn state senators are for gay marriage, Sampson said that he is “undecided.” Bay Ridge State Senator Marty Golden, a Republican, and Sheepshead Bay⁄Mill Basin State Senator Carl Kruger said they would vote against the legislation when called.
The measure passed the Assembly last month with a vote of 89 to 52. The Assembly also voted in favor of the measure in 2007, but the Republicans leading the Senate at the time refused to call a vote.
Before the State Senate was thrown into turmoil last week, Majority Leader Malcolm Smith said that he wouldn’t call a vote on same sex marriage until he was sure it would pass.
LGBT advocates said that they’re confident it would.
“If the bill is put up for a vote, we’re hopeful that 32 senators will vote for it,” Zuckerman said.