The New York state Senate considers the same sex marriage bill that passed the Assembly and several of the bill’s opponents are being lobbied by phone calls from acclaimed memoirist and poet Maya Angelou, reports the New York Times.
"To love someone takes a lot of courage," the 81-year-old Harlem resident said in an interview. "So how much more is one challenged when the love is of the same sex and the laws say, ‘I forbid you from loving this person’?"
Angelou called three senators last weekmand was joined by actress Cynthia Nixon and former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue. The Empire State Pride Agenda facilitated the lobbying.
Despite Angelou’s celebrity stature and her huge popularity in the black community, the call did not convince State Senator Shirley Huntley, a Queens Democrat who opposes marriage-equality. Huntley tells the New York Times: "I admire her, her poetry. I enjoy listening to it. And I told her that. But that does not change my mind." She added, "If they gave me a million dollars, tax free, I just wouldn’t vote for it."