George And Farid In Brooklyn Want To Get Married

Freedom To Marry has released this short video testimonial from George and Farid, a committed couple who have been together for ten years. They discuss their desire to marry and their excitement over their immenient plans to become fathers.

They own a restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Bogota Latin Bistro .

I've actually eaten there many times. I wasn't aware it was owned by a gay couple, which is kind of cool and fitting. George and Farid's testimonial nicely illustrates how LGBT citizens are seamlessly woven into the fabric of every community.

With only 18 days until the legislative session breaks, it's past time for everyone to engage. It's important every New Yorker, LGBT and ally, do as George and Farid have done and tell their stories to our leaders in Albany.

Senator Gillibrand's Friend Factor page is a super-easy way to get in touch with your Senator. Friend Factor finds your Senator and will call your phone and transfer you directly to their office. You can invite your friends and family to do the same.

News from the coalition efforts, via New Yorkers United For Marriage Press Release:

 A record number of New Yorkers contacted their state lawmakers in support of marriage equality over Memorial Day Weekend, signing postcards and making thousands of calls to their individual legislators, New Yorkers United for Marriage reported today.

Coalition members were joined by volunteers at supermarkets, coffee shops, public squares and Memorial Day parades in Forest Hills, Maspeth, Stony Brook, Hyde Park, Troy, Rochester and dozens of other towns across the state, offering passersby the opportunity to contact their legislators directly and urge them to make marriage a reality for all New Yorkers.

Last week alone, more than 8,000 New Yorkers wrote postcards to their legislators and thousands more called their offices to express their support for marriage equality. The surge of contact from supporters over the holiday weekend reflects the increasing mobilization for the passage of marriage legislation by the end of the 2011 session.

“We were overwhelmed by the hundreds of residents in every district who were anxious to call or write their lawmakers in support of marriage,” said Human Rights Campaign Senior Strategist Brian Ellner. “This weekend’s success was a true reflection of the passion New Yorkers feel about this issue and the momentum behind this campaign.”

I was actually among them (yeah, that's me above). I spent my weekend in Queens speaking with constituents on the street, talking to them about marriage equality. Quinnipiac has a new poll out just today showing record support for marriage equality in the Empire State: 58% approve versus 36% who don't.

My experience, even in the remote regions of Queens that are not considered progressive hotbeds, is those numbers are very easy to believe. I did not have a hard time finding people who were more than willing, but rather downright enthusiastic to sign their name to a postcard telling their Senator to vote “yes.” I stood over probably 75 people while they used my cell to call and leave a message at the Senator's office saying they support passing a marriage equality bill. 

And honestly, if was a spiritually uplifting experience. People would chat with me and express how they just felt important it was that people get treated equally.

And the stories they'd shared! One woman, maybe approaching 50 signed and called and afterward she told me, “Oh, I did this for my grandfather. He's been with his husband for 16 years and they're very happy.” I am just smiling thinking of her grandfather who must be in his 80s having a doting boyfriend (I should be so lucky!). I met a lot of PFLAG parents (and grandparents) and even a couple people told me they had a gay parent.

At the end of the weekend I really felt I'd helped move us just a little bit closer to victory. 

This is really important outreach work that has to be done, and is being done strategically very well. If you can spare just a few hours to phonebank (there's on in the Times Square area in the city) or hit the streets you can sign up here.

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