Four months after New York legalized same-sex marriage, the celebration continued as the Empire State Pride Agenda toasted Governor Andrew Cuomo Thursday, and the governor said the struggle won't end until every state joins New York. NY1’s Josh Robin filed the following report.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has high approval ratings statewide and really high ratings at a Midtown hotel ballroom Thursday night.
"I don't know that I'll ever have an opportunity to accomplish something that touches people as directly and personally as this,” said Cuomo.
The bill passed 33-29 after failing previously. Cuomo is seen as a patient and masterly lobbyist.
"If he did not take the lead on this and if he were not the driving force on this, it could not have happened," said State Senator James Alesi.
And Cuomo is calling for it to happen elsewhere, with a loud demand for a national marriage equality and gay rights platform.
"We need marriage equality in every state in this nation, otherwise no state really has marriage equality, and we will not rest until it is a reality," said Cuomo.
Closer to home, advocates are demanding greater civil rights for transgendered New Yorkers.
"Right now in New York, hardworking New Yorkers can be fired from their jobs, kicked out of their homes, denied service at a restaurant just because they’re transgendered. That’s not right," said Ross Levi of the Empire State Pride Agenda.
There are also future elections, which several notable guests were thinking about as they mingled.
“It’s a must-be place. I think that this marriage success has shown that when our community works together, we can have a lot of political clout, a lot of political power, and that that we will not be treated like second-class citizens. So if you want to be a part of political power in New York, you have to make sure that you’re okay with the gays,” said Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell.
Mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker, got a vague boost from the governor, who said of her that the best is yet to come.
It wasn't seen a formal or informal endorsement, but it didn't hurt, either.