Joseph Coe was in Albany yesterday waiting for the legislature to act on the pending . Coe, who works with the Volunteer Counseling Service (VCS) of New City, spent the day with many people from the Lower Hudson Valley.
When it finally passed late at night, his reaction was strong.
“It was so intense to be there,” said Coe. “This is history and we are part of it.”
Phyllis Frank, who is attending the national conference of the National Organization for Women in Tampa, said the reaction to the news was thrilling.
“The conference erupted in tears, crying, laughter and hugs because this is realization of a dream or at least a huge step,” said Frank.
Frank, who is director of Gay Pride of Rockland and assistant executive director of VCS, noted that the vote is a step toward making the country fair and just for everyone.
“What is really the critical analysis behind it is as long as the state supports lesbian, gay, transsexual, bisexual discrimination and has separate rules, we are literally saying discrimination is okay,” said Frank.
Coe, who also serves as co-president of the Rockland County Young Democrats, issued a statement.
“Tonight those of us who thirst for justice are celebrating,” said Coe “The passage of the Marriage Equality bill is a monumental step towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender equality in New York State. State sanctioned, institutional discrimination fuels violence and divisiveness. One by one, these archaic and antiquated laws will be overturned.”
Positive reaction also came from Rockland County Democratic Committee Chair Kristen Zebroskwi-Stavisky.
“The marriage equality vote was about social justice and civil rights,” she said. “Today, I am proud to identify myself as a New York resident, because we have corrected a terrible wrong. The rights guaranteed by our constitution and the laws of New York State must apply to all, not some.”
Zebrowski-Stavisky also stated, “Finally, LGBT New Yorkers will be able to mark loving, lifelong commitments the same way I did, celebrating a marriage and attaining all of the rights, privileges, and recognition that accompany that joyous event.”
Frank said she has been hearing continuously from her colleagues since Friday night.
“I would not be surprised if something spontaneous happened,” she said, adding a celebration could take place in Rockland within the next few days.
Rockland representatives State Senator David Carlucci, (D-New City), Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern), and Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-New City) voted in favor of passage.