New York Redefines Marriage
Special Report - June 27, 2011
In what marriage redefinition supporters dubbed a “historic turning point” for the state and the nation, New York is set to become the sixth and largest state to legalize same-sex “marriage.” The New York Senate narrowly approved the same-sex “marriage” legislation with a vote of 33 to 29 on the evening of June 24, and Governor Andrew Cuomo, who promoted and lobbied heavily for the measure, signed it into law later the same night. The bill, known as the “Marriage Equality Act,” had already passed the New York Assembly earlier this month. According to press reports, four Republican State senators joined 29 Democrat senators in voting for the bill, including two formerly undecided Republican senators, who ultimately voted in favor of the bill. The new law will take effect 30 days from the date of its passage, which means that same-sex couples in New York can legally “marry” in late July. Along with the District of Columbia, New York will bring the total number of U.S. jurisdictions that allow same-sex “marriage” to seven (six states plus D.C.).
“New York has finally torn down the barrier that has prevented same-sex couples from exercising the freedom to marry,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “With this vote, marriage equality will become a reality in our state, delivering long overdue fairness and legal security to thousands of New Yorkers.”
According to Governor Cuomo’s office, the same-sex “marriage” law amends New York's Domestic Relations Law to state the following:
- A marriage that is otherwise valid shall be valid regardless of whether the parties to the marriage are of the same or different sex.
- No government treatment or legal status, effect, right, benefit, privilege, protection or responsibility relating to marriage shall differ based on the parties to the marriage being the same sex or a different sex.
- No application for a marriage license shall be denied on the ground that the parties are of the same or a different sex.
The same-sex “marriage” bill was amended at the last minute to include a religious exemption. Governor Cuomo’s office notes that, “the Act states that no religious entity, benevolent organization or not-for-profit corporation that is operated, supervised or controlled by a religious entity, or their employees can be required to perform marriage ceremonies or provide their facilities for marriage ceremonies, consistent with their religious principles. In addition, religious entities will not be subject to any legal action for refusing marriage ceremonies.” After meeting little resistance in the New York Assembly, the measure’s slowdown in the Senate hinged heavily on the insistence of pro-family advocates and religious leaders that it should include a religious exemption, which they viewed as vital to protecting the First Amendment rights of New Yorkers.
Despite the inclusion of the religious exemption amendment in the final bill, the Catholic Bishops of New York released a statement on June 24, noting that the bill’s passage left them, “disappointed and troubled.”
“We strongly uphold the Catholic Church’s clear teaching that we always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love. But we just as strongly affirm that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman in a lifelong, loving union that is open to children, ordered for the good of those children and the spouses themselves,” the New York Catholic Bishops stated. “This definition cannot change, though we realize that our beliefs about the nature of marriage will continue to be ridiculed, and that some will even now attempt to enact government sanctions against churches and religious organizations that preach these timeless truths. We worry that both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization.”
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Catholic Charities in Illinois Fight Back - June 8, 2011
Elon Poll Shows Question Bias - March 2, 2011
Marriage Amendment Issue Brief - March, 2011
Grant Given To Fight Marriage Amendment - March 1, 2011
Marriage Protection Amendment Filed - February 24, 2011
Majority for Traditional Marriage - February 15, 2011
Majority Battle Rundown - February 2, 2011
Civil Unions Law Forces Adoption Retreat - June 1, 2011
Delaware Approves Civil Unions - April 19, 2011
Marriage Battle Rundown - February 2, 2011
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