Media coverage from News 10 Now
Soulforce Q lobbies for “right to marry”
Updated: 7/18/2007 4:51 PM
By: Bill Carey
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Their goal — to change minds. Their target — state lawmakers in Central New York and the Hudson Valley. Their method — face to face meetings to discuss the real life impact of the continued ban on same sex marriage.
“This is really about bringing it down to the level of people and how we seek to have loving, committed relationships and protect and care for our children,” said Haven Herrin, Co-Director of Soulforce Q.
“It’s a contract that you enter into with someone else and it’s a way that we as a society and we as communities hold each other accountable and we encourage and foster relationships between individuals who love each other in a healthy way,” said Curtis Peterson, a member of Soulforce Q.
Those favoring gay marriage in New York State have won their battle in the New York State assembly, but have hit a major roadblock in the New York State Senate. There, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno has flatly refused to bring any bill to a vote.
Volunteers are targeting members of the State Senate in their travels. In Syracuse, democrat David Valesky’s office was the first stop.
Valesky supports civil unions but not same-sex marriage. Soulforce Q members, talking to a Valesky aide, hope to change the senator’s mind.
“These are issues that are just too real to ignore through politics or through bigoted religious stances or through just going by the polling. This is about people and their lives,” Herrin said.
Group members say that it is time to press for change. That recent polling shows lawmakers can take action without fear of a voter backlash.
Peterson said, “Sixty-eight percent of New Yorkers just said in 2006 that if their lawmaker were to vote to support and to allow same sex couples to marry, those 68 percent said that it would not affect their support or it would increase their support of these lawmakers.”
One stop down and many more to go. The volunteers are optimistic that hard work now will eventually break the logjam at the state capitol.