glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
social sciences
special features
about glbtq


   member name
   Forgot Your Password?  
Not a Member Yet?  

  Advertising Opportunities
  Permissions & Licensing
  Terms of Service
  Privacy Policy





social sciences

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-E  F-L  M-Z

Empire State Pride Agenda  
page: 1  2  3  

Over the next several years, Pataki proved to be receptive to the Pride Agenda's lobbying. In 2001, he addressed the Pride Agenda's annual fall dinner and pledged not only to issue an executive order granting surviving same-sex partners of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks the same benefits received by surviving spouses, but also to support the passage of an anti-discrimination bill.

Not surprisingly, Pataki became the first Republican to be endorsed by Empire State Pride for a statewide office when he ran for reelection in 2002. Shortly after his reelection, the state senate finally approved the anti-discrimination bill, and Pataki signed it into law the very day it passed. Thirty-one years after an anti-discrimination bill was first proposed, New York became the thirteenth state to prohibit discrimination against gay men and lesbians in employment and public services.

Sponsor Message.

However, passage of SONDA (the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act) was not without controversy. The failure of the bill to include gender identity as a protected class led to a bitter rift between the Pride Agenda executive director Matt Foreman, who served from 1997 until 2003 when he left to head the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and state senator Duane, who accused the Pride Agenda of marginalizing people.

In response, Foreman contended that including gender identity in the bill would doom it to yet another rejection and pledged to increase the Pride Agenda's efforts on behalf of the transgendered.

If the passage into law of SONDA was the Pride Agenda's most visible statewide accomplishment in the early years of the new millennium, the organization also deserves credit for numerous other achievements at both state and local levels, including New York City's domestic partner legislation (1998) and anti-discrimination laws even in such conservative areas of the state as Westchester County (1999) and Nassau County (2000). Pride Agenda also lobbied successfully for the inclusion of gender identity in the anti-discrimination laws passed by the city of Rochester (2001) and New York City (2002).

The Pride Agenda was also influential in the election of such openly gay politicians as Christine Quinn to the New York City Council in 1999 and Danny O'Donnell to the New York state assembly in 2002. Quinn was chosen Council Speaker in 2006, making her one of the most prominent openly lesbian elected officials in the country.

Much of the Pride Agenda's focus in recent years has been on achieving equality for glbtq families. To that end, it lobbied the New York City Council to pass the Equal Benefits Bill in 2004. When the bill, which requires city contractors to provide domestic partners the same benefits they give to spouses of employees, was vetoed by Mayor Bloomberg, the Council overrode his veto by a vote of 41 to 4.

The Pride Agenda has also won passage of a number of statewide measures, including a law guaranteeing same-sex domestic partners the same rights as spouses and next of kin when taking care of loved ones in hospitals and nursing homes and a law granting domestic partners the same priority as spouses in making decisions about burial of a loved one.

The Pride Agenda has been successful in defeating efforts by some members of the New York legislature to pass a Defense of Marriage Act, and it has persuaded several state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, such as Massachusetts and Canada, as valid in New York.

When New York's highest court disappointingly ruled in 2006 that there was no constitutional mandate to provide same-sex couples access to marriage, the Pride Agenda mobilized thousands to protest the ruling at seven rallies across the state and officially began a campaign to achieve marriage equality in New York.

In 2003, Alan Van Capelle was appointed Executive Director of Empire State Pride Agenda and Empire State Pride Agenda Foundation. The youthful Van Capelle created a stir in 2006 when he criticized Senator Hillary Clinton and other Democrats for their failure to support same-sex marriage.

Van Capelle led the effort to secure marriage equality in the state in 2009, when a bill authorizing same-sex marriage passed the Assembly but failed in the Senate, despite the strong support of Governor David Patterson.

  <previous page   page: 1  2  3   next page>  
Contact Us
Join the Discussion
Related Entries
More Entries by this contributor
A Bibliography on this Topic

Citation Information
More Entries about Social Sciences
Popular Topics:

The Arts

Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators
Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators

Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall
Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall

Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male
Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male

New Queer Cinema

White, Minor

Halston (Roy Halston Frowick)


Winfield, Paul

McDowall, Roddy
McDowall, Roddy

Cadinot, Jean-Daniel
Cadinot, Jean-Daniel




This Entry Copyright © 2007 glbtq, Inc. is produced by glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.