November 16, 2009
On November 10th my husband Kyle Crawford and I joined a group from my home state of Rochester, NY, to particiapte in a vigil in the NY Senate gallery and halls. The Governor had called an extraordinary session to deal with some lingering issues, including the marriage bill which had already been passed by the assembly.
It was a long and disappointing day because there was no action on the bill. But our trip was not in vain because our presence was very visible and became widely known. And, there was no visible group opposing the marriage bill. Integrity is famailr with waiting for justice to happen. It has taken over 30 years in the Episcopal Church and it looks like it may take another session for this bill to pass in our New York state senate. As a member of Integrity, I know how important it is to just "show up" and voice support for equality.
We believe there may have been a behind the scenes agreement to bring it before the Senate for a vote by the end of this legislative session. Those in the know tell us that it may come up tomorrow. We are contemplating a return trip. Unfortunately the lack action last week gave the opponents a chance to organize and they will be present tomorrow. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a New Jersey based group, has already launched a robo-call campaign.
But, they won't go unopposed. Our Bishop, Prince Singh, acting on the resolution passed last year by Rochester's Diocesan Convention supporting marriage equality, has agreed to personally express his support and the support of our diocese to our local senator, who has not committed to vote one way or another. Once again, Integrity members are working with our diocesean leaders to speak out whenever legislation like this is pending.
Chap James Day, Integrity's Province 2 Coordinator and I will be in Albany tomorrow. Please hold New York, its Senate and all its LGBT activists in your prayers. The outcome of this vote will be very close. It can just happen in New York. We pray will happen in New York!
Neil Houghton, VP for Local Affairs, IntegrityUSA. Diocese of Rochester