New York Gay Advocacy Sees New Wave Rising, Younger Activists
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Last year, when the New York State Senate voted down gay marriage, only hours later, hundreds of angry gay activists rallied in Times Square. Many gave their emails for further brainstorming sessions, and began showing up at what is now a new lobbying scene called "Queer Rising", with a new NYC agenda different from that of Empire State Pride.
New, Younger Activists want civil disobedience, street rallies, and hands on activism
. . . core members of the group, now called Queer Rising, are mostly new to the lobbying scene and want to do things differently from the Empire State Pride Agenda and other long-established groups, according to coordinator Natasha Dillon. They want civil disobedience and street-level activism.
Some had donated to Human Rights Campaign and other big lobby groups and waited for good news which failed to come. The repeal of gay marriage under Maine's referendum Question One, coupled with losses in California (Proposition 8) and New York and New Jersey have fired up a new group of zealots.
Queer Rising is hoping to be at the crest of a new wave of gay rights activist groups in New York which favor attention-getting, public strategies and especially the loud shaming of lawmakers. They are determined to help sway the fall elections.
In Orange County, New York, the Alliance for Realization of Legal Equality was founded by a group of straight college students who have organized campus events and helped to challenge State Senator Bill Larkin. In Albany, a chapter of Queer Rising held a demonstration lobbying for GENDA. Facebook Groups with thousands of fans have generated new protests and information campaigns. Much of the focus is on gay marriage and employment equality.
While new fundraising powerhouses like Fight Back New York will focus on races, Queer Rising organizers say they want to help by keeping gay rights in the public eye, continuing to show up any event where they can make direct appeals to voters and remind them who voted ‘no’ in December.
More Students, Lesbians and Transgendered Persons
Organizers say with the new wave comes new ideas, and more women and transgendered members instead of the old white gay male professional bloc which made of former groups.