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Bill T. Jones for Marriage in New York

Bill T. Jones for Marriage in New York


Tony Award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones is the latest high-profile New Yorker to join the video series for marriage equality from the Human Rights Campaign.

In a 30-second spot that premiered online Tuesday, the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors recipient says, "We all agree that marriage is a fundamental right, and in our county, in our society, there are no second-class citizens."

The world-renowned artist also identifies himself as having grown up in Steuben County in western New York, a helpful detail in a campaign that seeks to highlight increasing popular support from all sections of the state in advance of an anticipated senate vote. Although the measure still needs at least six more votes, a tally that must include some Republican senators, advocates feel optimistic about taking another vote by June because of polling, leadership from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the coordination among members of the growing coalition New Yorkers United for Marriage.

"We are closer than ever before to having marriage equality in New York," said Brian Ellner, senior strategist in New York for HRC, a coalition founding member. "We're honored to have the highly acclaimed Bill T. Jones supporting our efforts."

In the coming weeks, the coalition plans a media campaign to amplify findings that show a record 58% of New York voters support marriage equality. Preexisting efforts like the HRC campaign are expected to continue, particularly with outreach to everyday New Yorkers, who will be invited to film their own videos at locations around the state.

The New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign, which has appeared online and on the city's Taxi TV, features prominent New Yorkers to move viewers to lobby their state lawmakers. Other videos in the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign so far have included Barbara Bush, daughter of former president George W. Bush; New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg; former mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins; former police commissioner Bill Bratton and Rikki Klieman; Robert F. Kennedy Jr.; Joan Rivers; Whoopi Goldberg; Lucy Liu; Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon; Russell Simmons; Julianne Moore; Ethan and Ryan Hawke; Christopher Meloni; Moby; Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell; Fran Drescher; Mark and Sunrise Ruffalo; chefs Mario Batali, David Chang, and Tom Colicchio; Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe; Kenneth Cole; John Slattery; and Daphne Rubin-Vega.

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