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July 24, 2017




10 PEOPLE MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR LGBT NEW YORKERS IN 2011, New York became the sixth state – and the largest state at that point – to legalize same-sex marriage. The measure, which advocates had sought for years, made it over the finish line thanks to the behind-the-scenes negotiating of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and, notably, four Republican state senators who crossed the aisle to provide enough votes for a majority. The victory was reinforced in 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, making it the law of the land. Later that year, the Empire State Pride Agenda, a leading New York advocacy group, disbanded, citing the achievement of its primary policy objectives. And since the landmark Supreme Court ruling, public attitudes have continued to shift, with polls showing a growing majority of Americans support allowing gays and lesbians to marry. Yet advocates and experts warn that now is not the time to settle into complacency. Policy battles over bathroom bills and transgender rights are raging across the country. Politicians are exploiting a backlash against hard-won legislative victories. The fight against AIDS and HIV, which has afflicted the LGBT community, has not yet been won. In New York, there are many leaders in the community who are on the front lines. In this special issue, City & State and its sister publication, New York Nonprofit Media, recognize 10 individuals who serve the LGBT community in government and politics, through advocacy and academia, and by providing services and care to those in need. Photography by CELESTE SLOMAN

City & State New York 07242017  
City & State New York 07242017