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Religious Tolerance logo

Same-sex marriage (SSM) in New York State

Marriage Equality law: reactions to its passage

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The acronym LGBT refers to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,
and transsexual communities. SSM refers to same-sex marriage.

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This topic continues from a previous essay

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Just before midnight on the evening of 2011-JUN-24: Governor Cuomo signed the Marriage Equality Act into law.This was a few hours after the bill had been passed by the Republican-dominated New York State Senate. It will take effect on Sunday, 2011-JUL-24. On the following day, all loving, committed couples -- same-sex or opposite-sex -- in New York State will be able to marry and receive the same few hundred rights, protections and obligations that have previously been given only to opposite-sex couples. The only exclusions are couples who are two young or too closely genetically related.

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Reactions to the passage of the law:

  • happy faceA street party at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, NY formed on the evening of the bill's passage. This is where the famous Stonewall riot occurred in 1969 which triggered the gay rights movement. Two attendees commented on the new law:

    • Sarah Ellis, 39, of Long Island, who has been in a six-year relationship with her partner Kristen Henderson, said the measure would enable them to be married in the fall. She said: "We've been waiting. We considered it for a long time, crossing the borders and going to other states. But until the state that we live in, that we pay taxes in, and we're part of that community, has equal rights and marriage equality, we were not going to do it."

    • Queens teacher Eugene Lovendusky, 26, is gay and hopes to become married someday. He said: "I am spellbound. I'm so exhausted and so proud that the New York State Senate finally stood on the right side of history." 1

  • sad face Catholic Online contained a brief summary of their position three days after the Marriage Equality Act became law:
    "This issue has been framed as upholding marriage equality. This is not the case since one of the principal purposes of marriage is to bring new life into the world. This cannot happen in same-sex marriage. It is not a civil rights issue, but rather a human rights issue upholding the age-old understanding of marriage.Republicans and Democrats equally share responsibility for this ruinous legislation and we as Catholics should hold all accountable for their actions." 2
  • happy face "GayLes," an anomymous individual, Emailed us with a response to the Catholic Outline statement:
    "I do hold the politicians who voted for this bill accountable and celebrate with them in their decision to advance human rights. In an age when overpopulation is endangering our climate future, we need to slow down on the baby making. Still, many lesbians "in same-sex marriage" are conceiving and "bringing new life into the world," even as gays are adopting children who society have discarded. Every major moral advance from ending slavery to giving women the vote, to eliminating racial segregation to allowing inter-racial marriages involved replacing some "age-old understanding" with a higher moral standard. Same-sex marriage is simply the latest."
  • sad face Rev. Jason McGuire is executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, an evangelical Christian group that opposes marriage equality for same-sex couples, abortion access, legalization of gambling, etc. He referred to the approval of the Marriage Equality Act as a failure of the New York Senate " defend authentic marriage" 3 He wrote:
    "Despite today's vote, the people of New York recognize that marriage provides a strong foundation for a thriving society. State senators who have chosen to pursue their own agenda or the agenda of liberal activist groups are ignoring the 62 percent of Americans who believe marriage is [for] one man, one woman, [and] nothing else.

    Throughout history, diverse cultures and faiths have recognized marriage between one man and one woman as the best way to promote healthy families and strong societies. That's because marriage between a man and a woman naturally builds families -- mom, dad, and children -- and gives hope that the next generations will carry that on into the future.

    State legislators should not decide this society-shaping issue. Because this decision has such far-reaching and long-term societal implications, all New Yorkers should have the opportunity to vote in a people's vote.

    Voters in 31 out of 31 states have strongly affirmed the lifelong, faithful union of a man and a woman as the fundamental building block of civilization.

    It is unfortunate that the vast majority of Democratic legislators and a handful of liberal-leaning Republicans have put personal agendas, ahead of principled positions. We had hoped for better, but now we look to next year's November." 3

He has taken the 63% from a heavily criticized poll commissioned by the National Organization for Marriage. Of the three largest national polls in the previous 12 months, Fox News reported 52% in favor of SSM and 46% opposed during 2010-AUG, Washington Post/ABC reported 53% in favor and 44% opposed during 2011-MAR; and Gallup Poll reported 53% in favor and 45% opposed. A New York State poll by Sienna College Research Institute reported 58% in favor and 36% opposed in 2011-APR for a margin of 22 percentage points.

Rev. McGuire argues against SSM because only a man and a woman can "naturally" have children. This denigrates the marriages of same-sex couples, infertile opposite-sex couples, and adopting couples who use assisted reproduction techniques or adoption agencies to be less than "authentic."

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  • happy face       A number of stars in the entertainment business responded positively:

    • Ellen DeGeneres tweeted: "I'm thrilled about the news from NY. Marriage equality! Every day we get a little closer. What an amazing feeling."

    • Lindsay Lohan tweeted: "I think that what is happening in NY tonight is an incredible thing. NOH8." [H8, pronounced "Hate," refers to the Proposition 8 citizen initiative in California that terminated SSMs in that state on election day in 2008-NOV].

    • Lady Gaga tweeted: "The revolution is ours to fight for love, justice+equality. Rejoice NY, and propose. We did it!!!"

    • Kathy Griffin: "Tonight we're all New Yorkers! Straight & gay alike, let's all celebrate marriage equality. The right side of history! 4

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More reactions in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Gay Marriage Bill Passes In New York; Governor Cuomo Signs Same Sex Marriage Bill Into Law," Huffington Post, 2011-JUN-25, at:
  2. "New York Legislature Undermines True Marriage, Family, Society and the Common Good," Catholic Online, 2011-JUN-27, at:
  3. "New York State Senate Fails to Defend Authentic Marriage." New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, 2011-JUN, at:
  4. "Gay Marriage In New York: Celebrities Celebrate," Huffington Post, 2011-JUN-25, at:

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 Home > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > Menu > NY > here

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Copyright © 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2011-JUN-22
Latest update: 2011-JUN-28
Author: B.A. Robinson

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