New York State Sen. Diane Savino first made a name for herself as a labor activist for the SSEU. She's been a staunch defender of workers' rights, helping raise the state's minimum wage for the first time in a decade and passing the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. But since the failed gay marriage vote in New York, she is getting considerable attention nationwide for her impassioned speech before the vote:
What surprised me about the debate that preceded the vote was that few of the anti-marriage advocates went up to speak. Sen. Ruben Diaz of course encouraged everyone to (figuratively) bring their Bible into the chamber, but the only thing you heard from the rest of the "anti" folks were dispiriting no's during the roll call. There is something sort of fitting about their silence; it seemed to underscore how shameful the vote was.
As I've ruminated over the vote these past few days, I've become increasingly annoyed with the "look how far we've come" consolation prize, which most often comes from straight people. If it's any sort of victory, it's a perverse one. Perhaps it's just that the New York vote felt more visceral to me (my partner lives there), but frankly, I don't care how much better the vote is now than it would have been 20 years ago. The fact remains that in most of the country, gay people can be fired for being gay and can be barred from seeing their partner on his or her deathbed. What sort of consolation is it that 28 senators in New York thought gay people deserved better than this?
I think the indignation Savino so vehemently expressed is something the gay community continues to feel, and should.