Obama’s NYC Fundraising Visit Coincides with State’s Marriage Nailbiter

Planned protest spotlights President’s reluctance to support marriage equality

Three grassroots LGBT civil rights groups have organized a protest to take place outside the location of President Obama’s $1,250-a-ticket fundraiser tonight. New York-based Queer Rising, plus national LGBT rights organizations GetEQUAL and Join the Impact, scheduled the “Demonstration for Full LGBT Equality” to spotlight Obama’s lack of leadership in LGBT civil rights.

The fundraiser coincides with the down-to-the-wire debate over legalizing same-sex marriage in New York. At press time, the Senate’s Republican caucus has not decided to hold a vote on the Marriage Equality Bill. The legislative session is expected to conclude this week.

Obama steadfastly supports civil unions for same-sex couples, but he has said during his presidency that his views about same-sex marriage are “evolving.”

“With the outcome of the New York state Senate vote on the Marriage Equality Act expected at any moment, supporters and allies from the LGBT community will gather together in their call for full LGBT equality now. With the majority of Americans now supporting the extension of marriage rights, there is not reason to delay or deny full equality to all LGBT Americans any longer,” the groups said in a joint statement.

“We remind our leaders that without government support and protections the LGBT community is at greater risk for hate crimes, bullying, suicides and homelessness. We expect our elected officials to do the right thing by protecting the civil liberties of their entire constituency.”

Activists wishing to join the protest are encouraged to bring candles and their passion to the following location:

Sheraton New York

811 7th Avenue at W. 53rd Street

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 5:30pm

For more information, see http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=123451884405622 .

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