Information for gay visitors and residents

This page is meant to be a resource for people who live or visit the western Catskill region around Margaretville, New York in Delaware County. In recent years, the region has seen a large growth in gay and lesbian visitors, full-time residents and second-home owners. For the most part, this is a very integrated and tolerant piece of rural America.

  • a website which has comprehensive news and information about gay issues.


    "Level Place for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered"
    Monthly gatherings (pot lucks) on the second Thursday of the month, usually in Columbus, New York
    (about 1 1/2 hour drive from Margaretville)

    In 1973, after a small group of people met in an apartment in New York City and decided that they needed to create a legal defense organization for the lesbian and gay community, Lambda Legal was born. Lambda Legal has become one of our community's key institutions, a defining voice in the struggle for lesbian, gay and HIV-related civil rights.

    Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute
    The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund provides strategic, technical and financial support to openly LGBT candidates and officials.


  • Unfortunately there are no really good support organizations in this area.

  • Catskill Rural AIDS Services has stopped providing services in March 2009. The organization seems to have mismanaged their services and administration.

  • Wyoming Rural AIDS Prevention Project
    The Wyoming Rural AIDS Prevention Projects (WRAPP) is a five year research project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. WRAPP is focused on improving the lives of rural residents. This site will offer you information about health, HIV resources for rural residents, helpful links and resources, and surveys and projects, which will provide us with valuable information about rural residents.


    Courage Campaign
    This organization is fighting the religious right's vicious campaign that is distorting the facts about same-sex marriage, confusing the issue and trying to scare people with falsehoods.

    Empire State Pride Agenda, Equality and Justice Day
    Equality & Justice Day is the one day of the year when hundreds of LGBT New Yorkers and our allies go to Albany to demonstrate the power of our community and lobby our elected officials. E&J Day 2009 will be the most important yet, because now, for the first time ever, we have a pro-LGBT Majority in the State Senate! Your lobbying at E&J Day over the past few years has played a significant role in getting the State Assembly to pass our community’s three most important bills: marriage equality, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) and the Dignity for All Students Act. With an Assembly and a Governor now supporting these issues, we now must make sure that the State Senate takes up and passes these bills so that they can become law in 2009!

    Assemblyman Cliff Crouch and state Senator John Bonacic oppose same-sex marriage.

    APRIL 21, 2009 Assemblyman Cliff Crouch voted NO --- against the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) that passed the NYS Assembly 97-38.


    June 19,2007 Assemblyman Cliff Crouch voted against A 8590 ---
    TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the domestic relations law, in relation to the ability to marry
    PURPOSE: This bill provides same-sex couples the same opportunity to enter into civil marriages as opposite-sex couples. The bill also provides that no member of the clergy may be compelled to perform any marriage ceremony.

    " From: "Cliff Crouch" Date: 1 May 2007 15:07:28 GMT-04:00 To: Subject: Re: Pass Marriage, GENDA and Dignity for All Students This Year! Dear ----: I do believe that same sex couples should not be denied certain protections that are afforded to heterosexual couples. However, due to my personal and religious beliefs associated with the institution of marriage, as well as those of the majority of my constituency, I cannot support legislation which validates a marriage between same sex parties. The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act I am in support of which would make it illegal to fire someone from their job or deny housing or credit on the basis of gender expression/identity. I too agree that this kind of discrimination deserves no place in New York. I am also supportive of the Dignity for All Students Act, which gives schools the resources to stop harassment based on sexual orientation and gender expression. Thank you for your correspondence and taking the time to express to me your concerns, it is always of great interest to me. If I can answer any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Sincerely,

    Legislators say no to same-sex marriage marriages

    By Amy L. Ashbridge Staff Writer, Daily Star (Oneonta)

    A same-sex marriage bill proposed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer has little chance of passing if the people representing this area in the state Legislature are any sign of other members� opinions. "I consider marriage to be between one man and one woman," said state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford. "I would oppose the governor�s proposal." Spitzer and Lt. Gov. David Paterson submitted legislation last week that would "create civil marriage equality" for New York residents, according to a news release from the governor�s office. "Strong, stable families are the cornerstones of our society," Spitzer said in a prepared statement. "The responsibilities inherent in the institution of marriage benefit those individuals and society as a whole." The proposed law would make marriage available for all couples, regardless of the couple�s gender. It also will give the same benefits of marriage to all couples who want it. Clergy would not have to perform same-sex marriages, the release said. Sen. John Bonacic, R-Mount Hope, also would vote against the bill when it goes before the Senate, said spokeswoman Kate Glazer. "The senator�s position is that he�s opposed to gay marriage," Glazer said Monday. Most of the area�s assemblymen are opposed to the legislation, they said last week. Assemblyman Peter Lopez, R-Schoharie, said he had made the personal choice not to support same-sex marriage. "That�s just something that I�m not able to support," Lopez said Wednesday. There�s a balance between expressing one�s personal choice and enacting a law that enforces that choice for everyone, Lopez said. He said there were people in his district that were in favor of same-sex marriage. But, he said, "Certainly, we have many more that are against it." Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, R-Guilford, said he also was against the legislation. "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman," Crouch said Thursday. He said he felt his views also reflected the views of people in his district. "The way I look at it, a great deal of my district is opposed to gay marriage," Crouch said. "I feel that the majority of my district believes that marriage is between a man and a woman." Seward agreed. "I think (his stance) reflects the overwhelming majority of my district," Seward said Monday. Assemblyman William Magee, the lone Democrat representing the area in the state Legislature, did not return multiple phone messages left at his Albany and district offices April 23, Thursday and Monday. Several legislators said they would consider supporting legislation that would give same-sex couples equal legal rights and benefits as heterosexual couples but would not include granting those couples the right to marry. "I recognize that people of the same sex do make long-term commitments," Seward said. "I would support measures that would recognize that commitment." He continued, "I am not prepared to support marriage." Massachusetts is the only state that grants licenses for same-sex marriage. Some states _ including Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire and Hawaii _ offer civil unions to those in same-sex relationships.

    Sen. Bonacic is a co-sponsor of S02056, a bill that makes a marriage or union absolutely void if contracted by two persons of the same sex even if this is done in another jurisdiction. It's not enough for him to just vote for it were it to come up for a vote; HE IS A CO-SPONSOR OF HOMOPHOBIC LEGISLATION.

    2004 Hospital Visitation Rights for Domestic Partners
    Representative Clifford Crouch voted for this bill which passed with only one vote against it on June 3, 2004. It prohibits the denial of hospital visitation rights to domestic partners when such rights are accorded to spouses and next-of-kin at any hospital, nursing home or health care facility; and defines "domestic partner".

    2002 Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act
    Both our state representatives, Senator John Bonacic and Representative Clifford Crouch voted against the bill which passed the New York State Senate on December 17, 2002. The votes against this bill were votes for discrimination and against equal justice, protection and civil rights for all.

    2003 Dignity for All Students Act
    Representative Clifford Crouch voted with 144 of his colleagues for this bill in the Assembly. It needs to be passed by the state Senate.The Dignity For All Students Act would create safe, harassment-free school environments for all students, regardless of their actual or perceived race, national origin, ethnic group, religion, gender, gender identity, disability and sexual orientation.

    2000 Hate Crimes Bill
    Representative Clifford Crouch and Senator John Bonacic voted for the bill. The inconsistency with the SONDA vote leads one to believe that they only want to protect gays and lesbians against discrimination only after they're bashed but not when it comes to housing, employment, etc..

  • Holy Innocents Catholic Church (Catholic Apostolic Church in North America), Halcottsville
  • Woodstock Jewish Congregation, Woodstock
  • Zen Mountain Monastery, Mount Tremper

    From The Village Voice:


    In 2004, 11 states passed anti-gay amendments and laws. Ohio passed the most draconian not only banning same sex marriage and civil unions but any legal status that might reflect a marriage relationship. In 2008 we had 3 more states pass anti-gay referenda. Enough already!

    LOOK WHO FOUND US!!: link to article in the Catskill Rag


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