New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, citing the riot at the Stonewall Inn in 1969 that led to the gay-rights movement, called for state lawmakers to approve a bill allowing same-sex marriage.
“The time has come for us to fulfill the dreams that exploded onto Sheridan Square 42 years ago: to allow thousands of men and women to become full members of the American family, and to take the next step on the inspired journey our founding fathers first began,” Bloomberg said today in a text prepared for a speech at Manhattan’s Cooper Union college.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is making the issue a central tenet of his statewide tour to prod lawmakers to approve the measure alongside a property tax cap and tighter rules on ethics. The Senate defeated a bill that would have allowed same-sex marriage in 2009. Bloomberg traveled to Albany this month to lobby lawmakers on the issue before their session ends June 20.
The mayor spoke across the street from the site where Abraham Lincoln delivered a historic speech on slavery at the college more than 150 years ago.
“Today, a majority of Americans support marriage equality and young people increasingly view marriage equality in much the same way as young people in the 1960s viewed civil rights,” Bloomberg said. “Eventually, as happened with civil rights for African-Americans, they will be a majority of voters. And they will pass laws that reflect their values and elect presidents who personify them. It is not a matter of if -- but when.”
In June 1969 a police raid on the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village resulted in a spontaneous revolt. Gay men and lesbians threw beer cans and other projectiles at officers, who responded with beatings and arrests.
The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.
--Editors: Mark Schoifet, Mark Tannenbaum
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