Two NY Republican Assemblywomen Celebrated the Freedom to Marry with their Families Last Weekend

This past weekend, two New York Assemblywomen witnessed family members making that special commitment of marriage to another person—of the same sex. Assemblywomen Teresa Sayward, R-Willsboro, and Janet Duprey, R-Peru, witnessed and celebrated the freedom to marry after being part of the historic vote that brought the freedom to marry to New York.

On Saturday, both Assemblywomen attended the wedding of Glenn Sayward, Teresa Sayward’s son, and his long-time partner Ben. Glenn and Ben, who had had a large commitment ceremony seven years ago, were at last this Saturday able to make their commitment to one another legal this past Sunday, just like the thousands of same-sex couples that have been married in New York since the marriage law took affect.

“It was a very emotional day for me,” Sayward told The Adirondack Daily Enterprise yesterday. “I had watched all my other children get married. To be able to see that he was also able to do that here in the state of New York, and be able to get the same benefits as my other children, was really significant for me and my whole family.

Sayward gave the newly wedded couple a framed certificate of the law that legalized the freedom to marry in New York, signed by Governor Cuomo, as a wedding gift.

Then on Sunday Assemblywoman Duprey attended another wedding between a same-sex couple—her niece and her niece’s partner of fourteen years. Duprey’s niece and her niece’s partner had also had a larger commitment ceremony the year before. But this time, it was legal.

Both of these Assemblywomen struggled over the issue of whether or not to support the freedom to marry, originally opposing it. However in the end, both of the Assemblywomen chose to stand on the right side of history:  

Sayward: “But it didn’t take long for me to realize that I was really sent to Albany to do the right thing. This was the right thing to do.”

Duprey: “I truly came to the realization that it’s a civil rights issue, an all people should be truly treated equally under the law. The absolute turning point for me was the parents who said to me they wanted all their children to be treated the same.”

Both Assemblywomen celebrated with their families that this freedom was at last won in their home state. But in the meantime, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act bars the federal government from recognizing marriages between same-sex couples and thereby denies these couples the same marriage rightsover 1,000 federal protections that all other married couples receive.
“It is definitely a federal issue,” Assemblywomen Sayward told The Adirondack Daily Enterprise. “Even though Glenn and Ben have all the civil rights of the state of New York, they still don’t when they file their federal income tax. Until we get that done, it’s not done.”

It is not over yet, and you can help couples like Glenn and Ben receive the same federal recognition and rights protections as every other married couple. Now is the time to act. To ask your Congressman members of Congress to support the repeal of DOMA, click here.