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Second Statewide Ad for N.Y. Marriage Equality

Second Statewide Ad for N.Y. Marriage Equality


New Yorkers United for Marriage, the coalition working with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pass a marriage equality bill within the next two weeks, released its second statewide TV ad Monday.

The 30-second spot features Paul and Iris Blumenthal from Nassau County on Long Island, who want to see their youngest son, Jonathan, marry his partner of 11 years, Eric.

"A good marriage is thinking about and caring for the other person even more than you care about yourself, and we've seen this in Jonathan and Eric's relationship to each other," says Mrs. Blumenthal in the ad. "They're a wonderful couple; they're a caring couple. It would give us such great joy to walk them down the aisle and see them get married."

Long Island is considered key to the marriage equality fight, where advocates and Governor Cuomo are pushing to pass a bill before the legislative session ends June 20. A series of recent polls shows majority support for marriage equality among voters in the New York City suburbs such as Long Island, although strong majorities of Republican voters oppose it. Long Island is represented entirely by Republican state senators, including majority leader Dean Skelos from Nassau County, who opposes the measure but has promised not to block a vote on marriage equality legislation. A handful of Republican lawmakers are needed to pass the bill.

Last month the Blumenthals were featured in a mailer sent to more than 200,000 households statewide that included a tear-off card to be signed and returned to lawmakers. New Yorkers United for Marriage, the bipartisan coalition of five LGBT advocacy groups, said Monday that it has delivered more than 10,000 of the signed reply cards calling for passage of the marriage equality bill.

The mailer and TV ads are part of a campaign that could raise as much as $2 million, according to insiders, much of it from Republican donors. Last month the first statewide ad premiered featuring partners Mary Jo Kenney and Jo-Ann Shain, who explained why marriage matters to them.

With exactly two weeks remaining in the current legislative session, Cuomo, who enjoys high approval ratings, has yet to introduce a marriage equality bill in the Senate. He and the coalition of advocates want to see a vote only if the measure has the 32 votes required to pass. Currently, 26 senators, all Democrats, publicly support the legislation, which passed the Assembly in 2009 but failed by a 24 to 38 vote in the Senate that year with no Republican support.

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