Update: Same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S. state of New York on June 24, 2011 by the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo! The law will take effect on July 24, 2011. Huzzah!

I don't often post on political issues. Today, however, I found New York State Senator Roy McDonald startlingly inspiring. In a nutshell, when questioned regarding his planned vote on same-sex marriage, he told reporters:

"You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing. You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, f*ck it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing. I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this."

Checking out his facebook page showed an encouragingly overwhelming support. Admittedly there were two very vocal individuals who disagreed, who were repeatedly spamming the page, but on the whole (at least while I was checking the page out) people were relatively courteously refuting those two, and thanking the senator for his courage.

One person had a very good point, though — she or he noted FB could well be invisible to the senator, especially since the phone calls were coming fast and furious into the senator's office, and included quite a bit of hate and some death threats. The writer suggested calling both Senator McDonald and the other Republican NY state senators — some of whom are still on the fence regarding equality in marriage — to give support for same sex marriage.

I'm in California, but I called because, as a dear friend noted, this does affect us, and calling the New York state senators will let their offices know this is an important issue. The more states that legalize equality in marriage, the easier it will be to make Prop 8 go away, and to emphasize human rights and dignity belong to all humans.

If you'd like to help, I've included the phone numbers below. I suggest writing a very short (i.e. less than a minute) script for yourself, and practice reading it a few times so you sound natural when you read it into the answering machines. I've included the one I used below, which you are welcome to borrow and re-write for your own use.

Remember to be polite! You want to persuade them to do the right thing — and not sound like a raving lunatic that calls them names or offers death threats. :) Also, be prepared for a real person to answer the phone, and don't forget to identify yourself. You want them to realize you're a real person, not a spammer or a recording machine. ;)

Phone numbers for the Republican New York state senators
Senator Roy McDonald: (518) 455-2381 (answering machine — no surprise there, if they're getting death threats!)
Senator Dean Skelos: (518) 455-3171 (real person)
Senator Andrew Lanza: (518) 455-3215 (answering machine)
Senator Mark Grisanti: 518-455-3240 (no answer yet)

The short script I used

Hi, Senator [NAME];

I'm not a New York citizen; I'm in California. I'm moved to speak, though, by Senator MacDonald's courage in doing the right thing, rather than blindly following party line.

Here in California we're struggling with Prop 8 — which passed only due to millions of wasted dollars spent in deceptive propaganda put out by the Roman Catholic Church, and the Mormon bureaucracy out of Salt Lake City. Neither of these are either Californian, or the voice of the people!

Please, listen to both your citizenry and your conscience, and remember: human rights are not just for followers of a particular religious dogma — they belong to ALL humans. Please vote FOR equality in marriage. Thank you.

Again, I'm actually from California, but here's my information so you know I'm a real person: I'm [NAME], and my phone number is [NUMBER]. Thanks again.

If you call, thank you so much! Also, please let me know how it went? :)

Later edit: I was asked why I mentioned the churches in my script. I do so because the Catholic archbishop of New York is trying to persuade the Republican state senators to vote against equality in marriage. While I'm unsurprised at his stance, I don't address it here because the arguments I could find on-line that were supposedly from him are so wildly off reality (i.e. we'll become like Asia?!) that I worry he was misquoted.

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