In yesterday’s historic election, California, Florida and Arizona voters approved measures that legally recognize marriage as a union between one man and one woman. These measures deny thousands of loving, committed same-sex couples to literally hundreds of protections that come with civil marriage.

Today is a bittersweet moment for millions of LGBT Americans across our country. While we can celebrate and find comfort in the fact we will finally have the support of a LGBT friendly White House, I am deeply saddened that voters in these states approved punitive measures that deny the basic and fundamental civil rights of LGBT Americans.

We in New York State must turn our energy to organizing with the new Democratic majority in the State Senate, and the Governor and Assembly to protect and support our families. We must ensure that committed same-sex couples in New York are no longer denied access to rights and responsibilities that come with a civil marriage license in New York.

Although change has proudly come to America today, we must remember that the road ahead is still long and there are still many barriers to full equality. Together, we will forge on in our long and tireless effort to attain full and equal rights before the law. I know that with the support of President-elect Obama, Vice President-elect Biden and the increased Democratic majority in both Congress and here in New York State, the LGBT community will come even closer to fully realizing the American ideals of equality, unity, and justice.