Mr. Cuomo, who choreographed the successful push this year to win legalization of same-sex marriage, received a standing ovation that lasted for more than a minute from supporters of the group, the Empire State Pride Agenda.
Shifting his sights beyond New York in a way he has not done before, Mr. Cuomo demanded that the federal Defense of Marriage Act be repealed. His voice rising in intensity as he spoke, he also called for federal legislation that would bar discrimination against gay men and lesbians in housing and employment.
And in his most forceful terms to date, Mr. Cuomo called for his counterparts across the country to embrace what he framed as an issue of equal rights and to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage in their own statehouses.
“We need marriage equality in every state in this nation,” Mr. Cuomo said. “Otherwise, no state really has marriage equality, and we will not rest until it is a reality.”
In his speech, he praised gay rights advocates for their hard work and also thanked many elected officials, including his predecessor, Gov. David A. Paterson, and the four Republican state senators who provided the critical votes to pass the marriage bill and whom Mr. Cuomo named one by one to some of the loudest applause of the evening.
Imagine an America where all citizens are treated equally under the law regardless of their sexual orientation and where anti-gay Christians are not afforded special rights. I often wonder if I will long enough to see that day.