Voice for Equality: NY state Senator John Sampson

John L. Sampson represents District 19 in the New York State Senate, which comprises Crown Heights, East Flatbush, as well as portions of Brownsville, Canarsie and Spring Creek Towers. On June 15, 2009, Sampson was elevated to the leadership of the Democratic Conference of the State Senate. As Conference Chairman, he is responsible for the day to day operations and the legislative agenda of the Democratic Caucus. He serves in leadership alongside former Majority Leader and Temporary Senate President Malcolm Smith. Elected in 1996, Sampson is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Deputy Majority Leader for State/Federal Relations. He is a former Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Health Committee. Learn more here.

On December 2, 2009, the marriage equality bill, introduced by New York Governor David A. Paterson, sponsored by Senator Thomas K. Duane, and already passed three times by the Assembly, went down to defeat. One thing that was clear in the aftermath was that the governor, Duane and marriage equality advocates, would need to work hand in glove with Democratic Conference leader John Sampson of Brooklyn in whipping the vote.

In a December 10, 2009 op-ed article for Gay City News entitled, "Knocking Down the Door, " Senator Sampson made the case for marriage equality being "the most significant equal rights movement of this generation." He compared the struggle for the freedom to marry to the women's suffrage and civil rights movements, pointing out that neither achieved victory quickly. In the end, he asserted, same-sex couples will enjoy full marriage rights:
Each and every tomorrow will bring us closer to the equality we seek with outstretched arms, determination in our eyes, and faith in our heart. I remain personally committed to marriage equality and will continue to dedicate the full spectrum of my energies to making marriage equality a reality in the state of New York. [Link]
Freedom to Marry salutes NY state Senator John Sampson as a Voice for Equality. In evoking civil rights history, language and parallels, the leader of the New York Democratic Conference has now clearly committed to passing the marriage bill, and will be accountable to do so by January 2011 or sooner.

If Senator Sampson's support inspires you - get involved.

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!