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Vanessa Williams for N.Y. Marriage Equality

Vanessa Williams for N.Y. Marriage Equality

Desperate Housewives star and Grammy award-winner Vanessa Williams contributes the latest video to the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality Campaign from the Human Rights Campaign.

"Already five states plus Washington, D.C., have marriage equality. It's time for New York to lead again," says Williams, a native New Yorker and the first African-American to win the Miss America title.

"Vanessa Williams has been breaking down barriers for most of her life," said Brian Ellner, senior strategist for HRC in New York, in a news release. "We're grateful that she's speaking out for our campaign, especially now that we're so close to a vote in the legislature."

HRC is one of five LGBT advocacy organizations in the bipartisan New Yorkers United for Marriage coalition working with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pass a marriage equality bill before the legislative session's scheduled end date of June 20. The bill has passed the assembly three times but failed in the state senate by a vote of 24 to 38 in 2009.

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 have included Barbara Bush, daughter of former president George W. Bush; New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg; former mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins; U.S. senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand; New York state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli; 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; Steve Nash; 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.
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