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Incorporated in 1990 as the result of a merger between two statewide organizations: the New York State Lesbian and Gay Lobby based in Albany, and FAIRPAC based in New York City. The Empire State Pride Agenda is a political organization that lobbies the New York State government for legal protection and equal rights for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. Libby Post and Mark D'Alessio were the Pride Agenda's first co-chairs of the Board, and Richard D. Dadey, Jr., the first executive director (following Lisa Parrish as acting executive director for three months). The new organization was more successful at fundraising.

Maintaining offices both in Albany and New York City, the first issue the Pride Agenda tackled was the creation of a New York City council district drawn in a way that included enough gay and lesbian supportive voters to make the election of a lesbian or gay city councilperson a possibility. This was achieved in 1991.

The Pride Agenda adopts legislative agendas each year and has lobbied on the state level for a bias-related violence bill, a civil rights bill, and a domestic partnership bill. The organization endorses pro-gay candidates for local and state office, and remains active in New York City politics. In July 1998, New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani signed into law legislation recognizing domestic partners in New York City.