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Marriage Equality Summit!

Join DL21C'ers Tuesday May 3rd to hear from the leaders of the Marriage Equality fight in New York State. Brian Ellner, Director, Campaign for Marriage Equality, an HRC initiative, Cathy Marino-Thomas, Board President, Marriage Equality New York, Ross Levi, Executive Director, Empire State Pride Agenda and Richard Socarides, President, Equality Matters.

These four people are working at the grassroots level, with state legislators and the governor to get gay marriage legalized this year in New York. They will be sharing their successes and challenges and letting you know what you can do to be a part of this effort.

Moderated by Corey Johnson, political director of, this event promises to be an inside look at where legislators, the press and the public are on this issue. 

Katra is a great lounge close to six subway stops. See you Tuesday night!

Tuesday, May 3
Doors open at 6:30pm. Mix, mingle – full menu available
Panel discussion starts at 8:30pm
217 Bowery Street (b/t Rivington and Prince)
F to 2nd Ave; J to Bowery; 4/5/6 to Spring St
FREE for Annual members and those coming from the Friendfactor Event!
$7/everyone else

About the Speakers:
Brian Ellner: Brian Ellner is a native New Yorker, and has served on community board 5 and 2. A graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, Ellner has served as a special advisor to Mark Green, both in the Public Advocate's office and during Green's 2001 campaign for mayor. In private practice, Ellner provided free legal counsel to the LGBT community center and Freedom to Marry, and worked on numerous landmark civil rights cases. He ran for Manhattan Borough President and is now the director the Human Rights Campaign New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign. Brian has gotten pre-eminent actors, politicians and icons to speak out in favor of marriage equality, including Barbara Bush, former NYPD (and LAPD) Commissioner Bratton, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Ed Koch, Lucy Liu, Mark Ruffalo, among others.
Cathy Marino-Thomas: An out lesbian since 1978, Cathy lives with her wife, Sheila and daughter Jacqueline. Cathy has worked with Marriage Equality New York on and off since 1998, was Executive Director for 3 years (2005 - 2008) and is currently Board President. Cathy speaks all over New York State about the 1,300+ rights, privileges and obligations that protect families only through the right to civil marriage. Prior to working with Marriage Equality New York, Cathy spent many years as a Buddy in the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) Buddy Program visiting countless people afflicted with HIV/AIDS and assisting them with daily chores, advocacy and information.
Richard Socarides: Richard Socarides is President of Equality Matters ( He was White House Special Assistant and Senior Advisor to President Bill Clinton, where he specialized in policy, legal and political issues. He served as chief advisor to Clinton on gay civil rights from 1997-99. He also worked as a strategist on Capitol Hill, as Special Assistant to Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and in media (Time Warner), entertainment (New Line Cinema), and technology (AOL). He has held staff positions in several presidential campaigns and served as spokesperson for a Hollywood motion picture studio. His opinion pieces have appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, The Huffington Post and AMERICAblog. Socarides is frequently quoted in national publications and often appears as a political commentator and expert on television.
Ross Levi: Ross D. Levi is the Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda and Foundation. Splitting his time between Albany and New York City, Ross oversees the Pride Agenda, Inc.’s legislative and political activities, as well as the education and community organizing work of the Empire State Pride Agenda Foundation. Ross has been directly involved in every state legislative victory ever achieved by the Pride Agenda, including statewide measures like: the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act; the Hate Crimes Act of 2000; making the state’s 9/11 relief inclusive of same-sex couples; guaranteeing domestic partners hospital visitation, legal authority over a loved one’s bodily remains, access to Family Court and medical decision making authority; and securing over $50 million of funding for LGBT health and human services. Before joining the Pride Agenda, Ross was Legislative Director for New York State Senator Nellie Santiago of Brooklyn.
Corey Johnson: Corey Johnson is thePolitical Director for

For media inquiries/more information about the event email us at: