It isn’t often that straight people are affected by laws preventing same-sex marriages. But Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer is letting same-sex marriage laws affect his straight marriage. Stringer will marry his fiancé Elyse Buxbaum in Connecticut, instead of New York, as a form of protest against New York’s ban on gay marriages. The couple will obtain their marriage license at a civil ceremony in Connecticut before returning to New York for their religious wedding.
Scott and Elyse are taking their marriage elsewhere as a way of taking personal responsibility and setting an example for others. Stringer explained that “If enough people who have somewhat of a profile — not just politicians, but artists and business leaders — start going into Massachusetts or Connecticut and show New York how embarrassing it is that you can’t get a marriage license for same-sex couples, then we will change things.”
Seven months ago, the New York State Senate killed a bill allowing same-sex marriage in a 38-to-24 vote. Many local politicians have expressed disappointment and anger that the bill didn’t pass but Stringer is the first to publicly boycott the institution in response.
Stringer has shown that he not only supports gay rights in his political career. He allows his political convictions to enter into his personal life, too.
The couples’ decision was largely influenced by their friends. Elyse shared the news of her upcoming marriage with her lesbian friend, who was also in a long-term loving relationship. Elyse was frustrated that her relationship with Scott could be recognized by the state, while her friend’s relationship lacked recognition.
When Scott relayed these feelings to his friend Allen Roskoff, a gay activist, Roskoff suggested that the couple marry outside of New York. The couple agreed that it was “the right thing to do.”
It’s nice to see a politician get behind their beliefs and act in support of the gay community. Stringer and his wife have made one thing clear: they both fully support gay marriage in New York.
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