Chair of New York Independence Party Supports Marriage
May 17, 2011
By Jamie Thilman, Freedom to Marry Communications Intern
On Monday, the chairman of New York's third-largest political party vocalized his support for the freedom to marry. "Personally, I share that belief and support the effort to change our laws to establish marriage equality in the state," Independence Party chairman Frank MacKay told the AP.
With 426,000 members, the Independence Party outnumbers New York's Conservative Party by 2 to 1. Such numbers may be political influence enough to gain key votes in the Republican controlled Senate, including the Senator from Suffolk County, John Flanagan, who has previously been unwavering in his opposition to the freedom to marry. "I respect Frank, I like him, he's a gentleman to work with and like any other leader, particularly of his stature, I pay attention to what he says," said Flanagan.
Leading advocates for the freedom to marry call MacKay's statement an "enormous boost for passage of marriage equality." Ross Levi, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda noted that "support for marriage spans all demographics and political affiliations."