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Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash has filmed a video in support of the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign from HRC.
"Hi, I'm Steve Nash," he says in the 30-second video. "I spend my summers in New York and I love playing at the Garden. A growing number of professional athletes are speaking out in support of gay and lesbian couples getting married. I'm proud to be one of them."
According to ESPN New York, the two-time MVP had been considering an appearance in one of the videos for months. Nash ultimately decided to time the release in support of the announcement from Suns general manager Rick Welts that he is gay, and to support New York Rangers forward Sean Avery. The hockey player this month recorded a marriage equality video for the Human Rights Campaign that was criticized by sports agent Todd Reynolds but overall met with encouragement from fans and sports industry figures.
"One of the most respected players in the game, Steve Nash is a leader on and off the court," said Brian Ellner, senior strategist for HRC in New York. "We are very fortunate he has lent his voice to our campaign in New York. He realizes, like most New Yorkers, it's time for committed gay and lesbian couples to marry."
The Human Rights Campaign is one of five LGBT advocacy organizations in the New Yorkers United for Marriage coalition working with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pass a marriage equality bill by June 20. The bill has passed the assembly three times but failed in the state senate in 2009.
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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 wife Rikki Klieman; Robert F. Kennedy Jr.; Joan Rivers; Whoopi Goldberg; Anna Wintour; Lucy Liu; Larry King; Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon; Russell Simmons; Bill T. Jones; Julianne Moore; Ethan and Ryan Hawke; Sean Avery; Christopher Meloni; Moby; Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell; Fran Drescher; Mark and Sunrise Ruffalo; former Miss New York Claire Buffie; chefs Mario Batali, David Chang, and Tom Colicchio; Julianna Margulies and husband Keith Lieberthal; Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe; Kenneth Cole; John Slattery; and Daphne Rubin-Vega.