Speaker Christine C. Quinn’s Remarks At The Budget Press Conference on Announcement of the Passage Of Same Sex Marriage Legislation

June 24, 2011
You shouldn’t get to have so many good things happen on one night. Before we came over here, we were watching the beginning of the vote in my office, and I saw Senator Saland say he was going to vote for the bill. So I knew the bill was going to pass, and I was on the phone with my partner Kim, who still wasn’t convinced the vote was going to pass, even though I assured her it was going to.
And it’s hard to describe the feeling of having the law of your State changed to say that you – what you know in your heart is true, that you are a full member of the State, and that your family is as good as any other family. And tomorrow, my family will gather for my niece’s college graduation party, and that will be a totally different day because we’ll get to talk about when our wedding will be and what it’ll look like, and what dress Jordan, our grand-niece, will wear as the flower girl. And that’s a moment I really thought would never come.
As much as I said I was sure this bill would pass, I was never sure this bill would pass. And even this morning as I stood in my apartment getting ready, I was so nervous, because I had begun to plan the wedding in my mind. And I thought, ‘What if it doesn’t happen again,’ the disappointment will be so tremendous.
And the feeling now is so overwhelming, to see Senator Saland stand up there and talk about the journey he had gone through to get to this point. To see Senators stand up and overcome their fear of what the voters will do to them, or they fear the voters will do in the voting booth. It’s an amazing day.
And what it does for me is important, but what it does for gay children is indescribable. There are children who are watching this vote right now across the country in households where they are afraid to tell people that they believe that they are gay, and they just saw the Legislature of the greatest State in the Union say that they are equal and that they matter. That will keep children alive, it will give them hope, and it will tell them that it does get better and that they matter.
So I just want to thank everyone who has brought us this great day – the Governor, Speaker Silver, Danny O’Donnell, Matt Titone, Deborah Glick, Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Minority Leader John Sampson, Tom Duane, who worked so hard for this day, all of those 29 Democrats, and Senators Alesi, McDonald, Saland, Grisanti and every New Yorker who didn’t lose faith, who didn’t give up hope.
Because you know, ultimately the people who didn’t want this bill, they were driven by the desire to take something away from people they don’t know, and people who have never done anything to them. And ultimately that kind of energy only drags you down.
But the people who never lost faith, like the people behind me since 2009, are driven instead by adding to rights, and adding to affirmation, and making this State a better place. And that’s the kind of energy that lifts you up and moves you forward, and has moved us forward tonight. So I just want to thank everybody.
I really can’t really describe what this feels like, but it is one of the best feelings I have ever had in my life, and I just want to thank everyone who has brought us to this.

June 25, 2011

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