We Deserve the Choice
Speech by Barry Douglas

On June 16, 1996, a coalition of organizations put together the first New York protest against the federal "Defense of Marriage Act." The bill, which may be law by the publication of this issue, is designed to preserve the institution of marriage as a heterosexual privilige.

Hundreds of people gathered in Bryant Park to protest the bill, as well as a New York State version that had been introduced in Albany. To conclude the event, NYC Councilman Tom Duane conducted a "wed-in" ceremony of commitment, in which several leather people joined. Each was then given a marriage certificate.

Among the speakers were Gloria Steinem (founder of Ms. Magazine), Karen Burstein, Chris Quinn (Exec. Dir., Anti-Violence Project) and Barry Douglas, a past chairman of GMSMA. Barry's speech appears below. Anyone wishing to join in this fight should write our Community Involvement Committee c/o GMSMA.

My parents were married till death did they part. My grandparents were married 52 years until death separated them. My sister is still married to her high school sweetheart. I can't marry the man I love and with whom I've lived for over ten years. Why does my family have these special rights and I don't?