It was 14 years ago February 27 when then New Paltz Mayor Jason West married 25 same-sex couples. And though the marriages that day were not recognized, the village and its mayor were thrust into the national spotlight and debate on marriage equality. With same-sex marriage now legal in the U.S., local officials want to commemorate the 2004 date by adding something to this year’s local Pride March.
Soon after the New Paltz ceremonies, a group of individuals created the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, which has hosted a Pride March and Festival for 13 years. And for this year’s March in June, local officials are fundraising to have a village rainbow painted on a crosswalk that connects the location of the 2004 marriage ceremonies with the end of the marching route. New Paltz Deputy Town Supervisor Dan Torres is behind the effort. So is New Paltz Village Trustee Don Kerr.
“We want to memorialize those moments, memorialize that big event that happened right behind us in the Peace Park,” Kerr says.
That’s from a video announcing the fundraising effort. The goal is $5,000.