A Welcomed Surprise
Yesterday we had a meeting with Senator Andrea Stuart-Cousins at 10am. We had arrived relatively early with our wedding cake and civil union cupcake in hand, and were informed by the secretary that Senator Stuart-Cousins would be running late on account of the rainy weather. We knew from our research about the Senator that she was for civil unions but had yet to rally her support behind the Marriage Equality Bill. We were joined, to our surprise, by two of the Senators constituents, a gay couple who knew Senator Stuart-Cousins position on gay rights very well.
When the Senator arrived, we handed her our literature and placed the cake and cupcake on her desk. The cake, we told her, was a wedding cake complete with a husband/wife figurine on top. It represented the 1342 rights guaranteed under marriage in New York State. The cupcake had two groom figurines on top, and represented a civil union, the size difference representing the inequity in the distribution of rights between a married couple and a couple with a civil union. Senator Stuart-Cousins was very amused by this visual and told us that she had decided earlier in the month to co-sponsor the Marriage Equality Bill. This was news to us. We had done our homework on Stuart-Cousins, and this had never come up. Boy, was that a happy surprise.
The Senator was incredibly supportive, and an absolute joy to talk to. She was very receptive to our points-of-view and loved to hear about all the things that we have been doing so far. We have had many surprises on this trip, and finding an unexpected ally when we thought we had to fight was one of the best. I look forward to many more such surprises.