Monday, May 11, 2009

Families Speaking Out in New York

With the recent news that the New York State Assembly is expecting to vote on marriage equality, PFLAG parents and family members are speaking out about why there is a need for marriage equality.

Meet PFLAG parents Dale and Gary Bernstein, of Ghent, New York.

Two weeks ago thousands of New Yorkers gathered in the state's capital to rally for marriage equality. Today, The Register-Star sits down with the Bernsteins - who are parents of both a gay and straight son - to discuss what equality means to them. You can read the interview today, in the first of a two-part series on LGBT equality in New York.

In short, it means that families like the Bernsteins want both of their children to have the same rights, privileges and safety as every other American.

Dale [pictured, right] tells The Register-Star, “Anything that could make your child’s life more difficult in any way is an issue for a parent,” she said. “I never had to go through any issues of accepting him or accepting his homosexuality; that wasn’t even on the radar. It was all these other issues.”

Dale said that she found it interesting that her issues were not about her son directly, but with the fear factor of having an LGBT child.

“What was sobering was being confronted with people who have voted their religion in the past, but who aren’t present to listen to the real stories of real people suffering discrimination. But it was wonderful and very exciting and exhilarating to see over 2,000 people advocating in such an orderly and eloquent fashion. I am not sure any of the stories and images shared on Tuesday will move the senator. But being the eternal optimist, I will take the vote on the bills where we can get them and hope that other attitudes will change over time. I think that we have the votes needed in the Senate to pass the marriage bill this year. I want to see them all passed.”

Also, be sure to click here and read the second part of the series.

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