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Senator Suzi Oppenheimer on Marriage Equality

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer Expresses Deep Regret

Over Senate’s Failure to Pass Marriage Equality Legislation

There is a concept in my religious faith called tikkun olam, which commands us to “repair the world.”  In my view, the New York Senate missed an opportunity to repair a part of the world when it failed to pass the marriage equality bill this week.  As I stated on the Senate floor, marriage equality is not about religion, nor about morality.  It is about civil rights.  It is about equal rights.  It is about the sharing of privileges and responsibilities afforded other committed couples in civil marriages recognized by New York State. These rights include those of survivorship, access to health insurance and pension benefits, the ability to make medical decisions for a loved one, custodial and property rights and a host of other legal protections. 

Viewed in its most positive light, our democracy was strengthened by our ability to debate marriage equality and bring it to a vote before the full Senate.  But we will not enjoy true democracy until we have equal rights and protections for all couples.  I am reminded of that cardinal rule “to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  My husband and I enjoy the many rights secured to us as a married couple.  I believe that other committed couples deserve the same protections.  Marriage equality is not just for the gay and lesbian community; it is for all of us a measure of our shared humanity.  And so the fight will go on, the struggle will continue until we ultimately prevail.

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3 comments to PR: Oppenheimer Expresses Regret on Marriage Equality

  • admirable

    What a lesson in leadership ! Repair the world, indeed. Can we start with rebalancing the scales between the taxpaying public and the teachers’ unions ? and how about repairing the NY Senate ? Practical goals, I know, so far from saving the world, yet so much closer to saving the State that you represent.

  • June

    I applaud Suzi Oppenheimer for her intelligent, heartfelt comments on this issue of equality, and I support her one hundred percent. I believe that our values as a nation (and a state) are of the utmost importance, and I know I am far from alone in this opinion. We will be defined by the way we treat our wonderfully diverse citizenry. Although this particular vote did not go the way I had hoped, I was comforted by the fact that my district is represented by someone who believes strongly in equality and votes as she believes.

  • Turn of Events

    The former hometown of former President George W. Bush, the Republican city of Houston Texas just elected the first openly gay mayor – the 5th largest city in America.

    Now there’s an interesting turn of events.

    And the heavily Democratic state of New Jersey’s governor had to resign for being outed as a homosexual.

    The world of politics never ceases to amaze me!