By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com January 27 2011 5:10 PM ET
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. joined the fight for marriage equality in a video released Thursday for the Human Rights Campaign’s New Yorkers for Marriage Equality series.
In the video, the son of the late senator from New York and member of the prominent American political family compares the marriage equality campaign to his father’s battle against the Jim Crow laws.
"This is the last vestige of institutionalized bigotry that's left in this country and we need to get rid of it,” he says.
The video is the latest in a series featuring prominent New Yorkers for marriage equality, including Whoopi Goldberg, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon, Fran Drescher, Moby, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, Julianne Moore, and Kenneth Cole. More ads are scheduled to be run online, with possible placement elsewhere, in the coming weeks and months as the battle for marriage equality heats up in the New York state senate.
Also on Thursday, a new Quinnipiac poll showed that New Yorkers support marriage equality by 56% to 37%, the largest margin ever. Crucially, 54% of upstate voters approve, which matches the percentage of support from people living downstate in heavily Democratic New York City.
"The most recent polling today shows a record number of New Yorkers from across the political spectrum supporting marriage equality,” said Brian Ellner, senior strategist for HRC’s Campaign for New York Marriage. “This support continues to grow with our campaign highlighting New Yorkers from all walks of life who support basic fairness for everyone."
The findings follow a Siena Research Institute poll earlier this month that showed 57% of New Yorkers support marriage equality.
Evan Wolfson, founder and executive director of Freedom to Marry, said the new poll indicates that it is time for the Republican-controlled senate to pass a marriage equality bill, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo is eager to sign.
"Today’s poll is yet another confirmation that a strong majority of New Yorkers believe that loving and committed same-sex couples should share in the freedom to marry,” he said. “New Yorkers, like all Americans, are looking at their gay neighbors, coworkers, and family members and realizing that they deserve the same fairness, the same treatment, and the same respect under the law as everyone else. The assembly has passed a freedom to marry bill three times. Governor Cuomo has urged and promised action to end this exclusion. It is indeed time to act. Both chambers should swiftly sent a marriage bill to the governor’s desk so that New York can move forward, as New Yorkers want and deserve.”