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Marriage Equality Rally
45th Street & Sixth Avenue, New York City
by Mark Thompson & Robert Doyle
May 17, 2009   photo-album Bookmark and Share

Those Gavins!  Where would the marriage equality movement be without Gavin Newsom and Gavin Creel?  It was five years ago that Mayor Gavin Newsom opened the gates of San Francisco’s City Hall to same-sex marriage and more or less jumpstarted the marriage equality movement—and now here in New York, taking his cue from Governor David Paterson who introduced a same-sex marriage bill in the Legislature, actor/singer Gavin Creel with his newly-formed organization, Broadway Impact, is working to insure that New Yorkers aren’t left without a marriage bouquet.  Organized in less than two weeks, Broadway Impact’s Marriage Equality rally on Sunday the 17th of May at the intersection of 45th Street and Sixth Avenue was a jubilant clusterfuck of impassioned activism and showbiz glamour, with rousing speeches from Governor Paterson, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, state Senator Tom Duane, state Representative Jerrold Nadler, Sex and the City stars Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis—as well as performances by Cheyenne Jackson, Gavin Creel and the Broadway cast of HAIR, and a stirring version of “Some Days,” with lyrics by James Baldwin, sung by a visibly moved Audra MacDonald.  In contrast to the vitriol and bigotry spewed at a counter-protest across town against the governor’s actions, the Broadway Impact rally was an example of sustained ebullience and enthusiasm—but then dignity is usually found on the right side of history.

“We’re in a race right now in New York,” exhorted the governor. “The time for justice, the time for equality, the time for equal rights can never be any more urgent than right now.”  The bill comes up for a vote in 34 days.

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