New York Takes Two Steps Forward Towards Gay Marriage, CA Takes Two Steps Back

A mere seven months after I moved from New York to California, New York is closer to getting same-sex marriage than it’s ever been and California is actually entertaining the latest set of ridiculous claims set forth by the Prop 8 people.

Today, 24 high-profile New York business leaders released an open an open letter declaring their endorsement of same-sex marriage as a wise move for the economy as it’ll help companies attract good people and keep them there. Some of the 22 rich dudes and 2 rich ladies involved with this letter include the chairman of Morgan Stanley and the chief executive of Goldman-Sachs.

From The New York Times:

One prominent supporter, John J. Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley, said that he believed legalizing same-sex marriage would help attract more talent to New York, but that he saw the issue chiefly as one of fairness. “It’s that simple,” Mr. Mack said. “I grew up in North Carolina. I’m 66 years old. I grew up when there was segregation. It makes an impression on you.”

Same-sex marriage failed in Albany in 2009, but many of the executives who signed this letter are very well-known in political circles, both Democrat and Republican. Considering that the Republican Caucus voted unanimously against the 2009 bill, having big GOP donors involved with this campaign should probably make a difference.

A bit from the letter:

To remain competitive, New York must continue to contend with other world cities to attract top talent. Increasingly, in an age where talent determines the economic winners, great states and cities must demonstrate a commitment to creating an open, healthy and equitable environment in which to live and work. As other states, cities and countries across the world extend marriage rights regardless of sexual orientation, it will become increasingly difficult to recruit the best talent if New York cannot offer the same benefits and protection.”

Recent polls indicate strong support of gay marriage in the state (58% in favor!) and activists are out canvassing for same-sex marriage anywhere they can.

New York city council speaker Christine Quinn is optimistic, too:

... Quinn said that she believes New York is on the verge of an “amazing, amazing victory” for marriage equality, and she suggested that her recent lobbying has been able to change at least one state senator’s vote from no to yes…

“If it wasn’t for all of you [at the Family Equality Council, we wouldn’t be on the verge of what I believe is going to be an amazing, amazing victory for New York,” she told the crowd of 600 attendees at Pier 60.

Since we’re discussing “recruiting gay people to your city by offering equal rights,” it’s worth looking at the state which once lured people to its city by offering protection from homophobia and, for various periods of time in the city of San Francisco and in California itself, marriage equality.

Where’s California at now? Well, Prop 8 is still going strong despite being declared unconstitutional by Judge Walker!

Ellen & Portia got married in California before the mormons ruined everything

At the current moment, New York and California are more-or-less on par with one another with regards to legal protections for gay people. Both states do not perform same-sex marriage but do recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. Both states allow same-sex partners to joint adopt children. Both states offer domestic partnerships to same-sex couples.

In 2008, all of us New Yorkers got SUPER jealous of our friends in California who, in addition to gloating about the temperate weather, had “equal rights” to brag about as well. When Prop 8 got overturned, gays in both states redirected their jealousy elsewhere, with a large percentage choosing “Canada” and others wondering if they might want to raise some kids in Iowa. How the tables have turned!

these are our friends robin & carly who live in new york and should be allowed to get married

Nobody expects any legislation on any issue to inspire a huge hoard of gays to pack up and migrate to a new state, but New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles are unique in that many gays actively DO choose one or the other to live in for relatively impersonal reasons (climate/housing costs/environment/scene) which have more to do with how much they genuinely LIKE each city rather than proximity to family or a job offer. Many move back and forth between the two cities and most have friends in all three cities. If you’re looking for an artsy, urban, gay-friendly environment, you’re gonna at some point be faced with the dilemna: CA or NY?

However — I doubt Goldman Sachs is worried about losing Choice Cunts patrons to The Abbey, they’re probably much more concerned with Wall Street and the two-income gay men who work there. Hell, whatever gets the job done!

Meanwhile in California, a date of June 13th has been set for the Prop 8 Activists to argue that the ruling on Prop 8 should be thrown out because the Judge was gay:

A June 13 hearing has been scheduled on whether a ruling that struck down California’s gay marriage ban should be thrown out because the judge is in a same-sex relationship.

Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware said Wednesday he was fast-tracking the motion involving his retired predecessor, former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker.

Lawyers for the sponsors of the voter-approved ban asked Ware to vacate Walker’s August 2010 decision overturning the ban as a violation of gay Californians’ civil rights.

It’s a good thing you’re so f-cking cute, California.


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riese

Marie Lyn Bernard, aka Riese, is an award-winning writer, blogger, journalist, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in the midwest, lost her mind in New York City and is currently making it work in California. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better, The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image and The Hazards of Being Female," "Dirty Girls," and "The Best American Erotica of 2007," magazines including Nylon, Marie Claire, GO, Curve, Interlude, and CollegeBound, and all over the web including nerve.com, Jezebel, Queerty, Emily Books and OurChart (RIP). She was the recapper for The L Word Online and host of Showtime’s Lezberado and her personal blog has earned many dubious honors including Best Personal Blog 2008. Riese has spoken about blogging, community-building, feminism, cyberculture and sexuality at places like BlogHer, Yale, New York University, The University of Chicago and The Museum of Sex. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Interlochen Arts Academy and The Olive Garden's week-long training intensive; she enjoys eating foods, having big ideas, reading books & talking to her stuffed dog, Tinkerbell. Also, she's Jewish. Follow her smokin’ hot adventures on twitter. Contact: riese[at]autostraddle.com

Riese has written 2893 articles for us.

19 Comments

  1. oh you guys are too kind. that is a picture of us in a small cyclone of wind in Brooklyn. we did not get carried away to Oz because my Nike moon boots kept us grounded.

    also FUCK YEAH NEW YORK!!! PLEASE legalize gay marriage so I can stop daydreaming about moving to LA!

  2. I’m glad some rich business dudes are pointing out the economic advantages of legalizing same sex marriage, because personally I think it’s a great argument that sidesteps morality/religion for something pretty much everybody loves: money.

    Also, seriously California…we’re about to sink into the ocean under the weight of all our DEBT and BANKRUPTCY, listen to those rich white guys in NY for a sec, k?

    • Actuallllly, the economic advantages of same sex marriage were argued in the California case that ruled baring same sex marriage was illegal. There was an amicus brief filed by Levis Strauss and Out and Equal Workplace Advocates that essentially focused solely on that argument. So you know it’s around, but not as ubiquitous as other arguments. Levi Strauss was actually the only business to file an amicus brief in favor of SSM in the California case, so you know support ’em and buy some Levis!

      http://outandequal.org/documents/AmiciCuriae_OEandLevi.pdf

      • Oh yeah, I know it’s been around, I just feel like people don’t bring it up often enough.
        But I didn’t know about Levis, that’s cool! I would buy their jeans but they never seem to fit me right…My brother only buys levis though, that might make up for it.

      • First thought: ’cause it’s law stuff and they are fancy/obtuse bastards?

        I looked it up in the OED and it’s a modern latin construction (meaning literally friend of the court, as you point out). ‘Modern’ relatively speaking that is, since first recorded usage was in 1612.

        I hope that helps. I do aim to be amicable. ;)

    • I guess I could have just googled it before, but then I wouldn’t get a chance to shine brightly as a dumbass.

      Wiki:

      An amicus curiae (also spelled amicus curiæ; plural amici curiae) is someone, not a party to a case, who volunteers to offer information to assist a court in deciding a matter before it. The information provided may be a legal opinion in the form of a brief (which is called an amicus brief when offered by an amicus curiae), a testimony that has not been solicited by any of the parties, or a learned treatise on a matter that bears on the case. The decision on whether to admit the information lies at the discretion of the court.

    • They’re briefs filed by parties outside of the actual proceedings, with the idea being that they’re supposed to “help” the court reach the correct decision. So, aiding the court then means you are being a “friend” of the court.

      I knew law school was useful for something!

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