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Trevor LIVE! a Tremendous Success July 2nd, 2011
Trevor LIVE! a Tremendous Success

‎"I think of everything I've done in my career so far, my association with Trevor is the thing I'm proudest of." -Daniel Radcliffe On Monday, June 27th The Trevor Project hosted its annual east coast fundraiser, Trevor LIVE!, at New York’s Capitale Theatre. I can’t tell you how honored I am to have been a volunteer at this amazing event that benefits such an important nonprofit. The evening was MC’d by Amy Poehler (the self-proclaimed “voice of God”) and opened with an amazing performance of 'True Colors" and Adele’s "Rolling in the Deep" by PS22. That night, The Trevor Project recognized a variety of individuals and organizations that have supported the LGBTQ community in one way or another – the two signature honorees being Daniel Radcliffe and Ernst & Young. Radcliffe, who currently stars in the Broadway play “How to Succeed in Business Without Actually Trying,” took home the Trevor Hero Award, an award that recognizes an individual who serves as an inspiration to sexual minority youth and increases visibility and understanding of the LGBTQ community. Radcliffe has been affiliated with The Trevor Project since 2009 and has spoken in PSAs and countless interviews about the life-saving and life-affirming work that Trevor does ...

Marriage Equality passed in the New York State Senate June 24th, 2011
Marriage Equality passed in the New York State Senate

What does this mean? Governor Cuomo must sign the bill. 30 days thereafter, legal same-sex marriage will be able to be performed in the State of New York. Same-sex couples will enjoy all benefits married couples enjoy provided by the State of New York. They will not enjoy those provided by the Federal Government. This means that same-sex married couples will still have to file as "single" on their federal taxes. What was negotiated? In order to gain the necessary votes, Democrats and Republicans provided exemptions for religious clergymen, affiliated non-for-profits and fraternal organizations that wish not to marry or provide services to same-sex couples. Why is this significant? New York has become the most populous State in the Union to recognize the performance of same-sex marriage. These are the facts.

What’s Holding up Marriage Equality in New York? June 21st, 2011
What’s Holding up Marriage Equality in New York?

The days are numbered in Albany this week. The Legislature breaks for summer recess as of Friday. A vote on Marriage Equality must take place between now and then. So what's holding it up still? Ostensibly, there is one remaining issue up for negotiation- exemptions for religious groups that do not wish to recognize same-sex unions. In the final bill, this may account for less that fifteen words, but they are critical none-the-less. There are rumors going around asserting that churches and clergy members would have to perform Marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples against their will. In fact, that is true... in states like Connecticut that mandate it, if a clergy member wishes to perform a service, the member must use the word "Marriage". In New York, the situation is wildly different. The Marriage Equality bill passed in the Assembly allows clergymen to excuse themselves if they personally oppose same-sex unions. The bill also stipulates that fraternal organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus, can not be compelled to rent their venues or provide services to same-sex unions. This is a particularly large concession considering fraternal organizations are commonly held to the same anti-discrimination standards that non-for-profits are. So what remains? Some ...

Are Local New York State Republican Representatives Moving in a New Direction? June 9th, 2011
Are Local New York State Republican Representatives Moving in a New Direction?

It is not uncommon for local New York local Representatives to take a favorable stance toward Marriage Equality in the State- irrespective of party affiliation. In the 2009 Marriage Equality vote, five Republican members of the New York State Assembly proudly broke with their party and voted for the S04401 same-sex marriage bill. Republican Assemblywoman Janet Duprey cited that a lesbian couple across the street from her played an instrumental role in changing her mind: "They are asking only for equal protection under the law...they deserve no less than to have the same rights and ability to share their love" Ms. Duprey added. Republican, later turned Democrat, Fred Thiele Jr. of the Hamptons voted against marriage equality in 2007 and for it in 2009: "There’s that little voice inside of you that tells you when you’ve done something right, and when you’ve done something wrong”. Thiele went on record saying that his "No" vote gnawed away at his conscious and came out publicly for the 2009 introduction of the bill soon after. The upcoming 2011 Marriage Equality Bill will no doubt pass in the assembly- but with a Republican dominated Senate, prospects seem disheartening. There is something we can all do! New ...