Press

New York Gov. David Paterson sends extraordinary message to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocates

Date: 
April 08, 2008

MEDIA CONTACT:
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National Gay and Lesbian Task Force honors Gov. David Paterson with New York Leadership Award

New York Gov. David Paterson ‘held hostage’ to Albany budget process, sends extraordinary message to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocates

“We will push on until we bring full marriage equality to New York state.”
— New York Gov. David A. Paterson

See video of Gov. David Paterson's remarks.

NEW YORK, April 8 — New York Gov. David Paterson addressed a standing-room-only audience at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s New York Leadership Awards last night, in which he was honored for his longstanding work on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.

“Held hostage” to the Albany budget process, Paterson sent an extraordinary message via video to the assembled crowd. Remembering that this year commemorates the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and remembering King’s legacy of “his ability to go beyond the issues of his neighborhood,” Paterson urged “New York’s civil rights leaders to recognize that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities deserve equal rights as well.”

The governor said he was “proud to have run on a ticket that advocated for marriage equality and to win on that premise.” Underscoring the remarkable triumph of the passage of the marriage equality bill in the New York State Assembly, Paterson reiterated that more people understand “that when people love each other they should be able to express it in every way that they deem necessary and possible and they should have all the rights that the rest of us have.”

He vowed “to push on until we bring full marriage equality to New York state” and promised to fight for an end to bullying in schools, for transgender rights and for affordable health care for everyone.

Paterson concluded with a call to “change the face of New York which will be a catalyst for change in national policy.”

Watch the video here.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.