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Mike Vissichelli, a volunteer firefighter from Long Island, is featured in the latest marriage equality video from the Human Rights Campaign, indicating the importance of the suburban region to the vote pending in the New York State Senate.
In the video, Vissichelli, a volunteer firefighter for 25 years from Locust Valley in Nassau County, says, "Loving gay and lesbian couples should be able to go to City Hall and get a marriage license, nothing more, nothing less. Nothing says family like marriage."
According to a series of recent polls, Vissichelli is not alone in his sentiment. Polling shows that a majority of voters in New York support marriage equality, including voters in suburban areas such as Long Island. The area is home to two Republican senators among the five identified as publicly undecided in surveys.
Vissichelli is the president of FireFLAG, an advocacy group for gay and lesbian firefighters and rescue workers. His video continues the new emphasis on everyday people in the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign from HRC, which until recently featured celebrities and other well-known residents in order to raise the profile of the issue.
"Mike Vissichelli has dedicated his life to protecting New Yorkers," said Brian Ellner, senior New York strategist for HRC. "We appreciate his selfless service to the community and his commitment to marriage equality."
In addition to undecided Republicans, advocates aligned with Gov. Andrew Cuomo are focused on three undecided Democratic senators from the outer boroughs of New York City as they work to secure the 32 votes needed to pass the marriage equality bill. The bill passed the Assembly in 2009 but failed in the Senate.
Six days remain in the New York State legislative session, which is scheduled to end June 20.
New York Firefighter for Marriage Equality and "Nothing Less"" >