doc4af8dbe1d1883501828298From the Mid-Hudson News Network, Please use this link to see the online story.

NEW PALTZ — Well over 100 people rallied on Main Street in New Paltz on Sunday evening as part of a series of statewide candlelight vigils urging the Senate to approve same-sex marriages when it comes to vote today.

“It’s time to reach out to our senators and demand equality,” said co-founder of BigGayHudsonValley.com Stephan Hengst, who helped organize the event. “Hopefully we can finally create marriage equality for all New Yorkers on Tuesday.”

Lance Ringel, vice president of the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, said, “For a lot of people in our constituency this is a very, very important issue and people wanted a way to express themselves about this.”

Steven Schunk of Highland attended to show his support. “I’m a lifelong resident of the county, a businessman, an entrepreneur, a taxpayer, and I feel like a second-class citizen and I’m sort of tired of it,” he said. “We need to stop calling it ‘gay marriage’ this moment,” Schunk said. “It needs to be called ‘civil marriage equality.’”

SUNY New Paltz student Ruth Lindner of Albany said the spirit of the event was to show “these are actual people that deserve rights, need rights, and want rights.”

She said many attening were teens and young adults because “these are the people that are going to be using this right in the upcoming years.”

“You shouldn’t need a brain to figure this out,” said Stone Ridge resident Drew Minter. “These Americans are just disenfranchised by the law as it presently is.”