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Religious Tolerance logo

Same-sex marriage (SSM) in New York State

Marriage Equality law: more 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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Reactions to the passage of the law (Cont'd):

  • sad face The Roman Catholic bishops of New York state issued a joint statement:
  • "The passage by the Legislature of a bill to alter radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage leaves us deeply 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. 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.

    Our society must regain what it appears to have lost – a true understanding of the meaning and the place of marriage, as revealed by God, grounded in nature, and respected by America’s foundational principles." 4

  • happy face The Human Rights Campaign -- perhaps the strongest and most active supporter of marriage equality in the U.S. -- wrote:

    "In a history-making, bipartisan vote, the New York Senate on June 24 passed a widely popular marriage equality bill after the most aggressive state legislative campaign in the history of the LGBT rights movement. New York will become the sixth state, plus the District of Columbia, where same-sex couples can legally marry.

    Governor Cuomo has signed the bill, and the law will take effect on July 24. ..."

    "The Human Rights Campaign is working at both the state and federal level to achieve marriage equality. By supporting state leaders and mobilizing HRC’s members in support of marriage and relationship recognition initiatives across the country, tremendous gains have been made.

    At its core, the push for marriage equality is simply about making the day-to-day lives of same-sex couples and their families manageable and secure. All families deserve the ability to protect themselves with basic legal rights and safeguards such as Social Security, health insurance and unquestioned hospital visitation.

    Only marriage can provide families with true equality. However, domestic partnerships and other forms of relationship recognition, though limited, provide important and tangible protections." 5

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  • sad face The 2011 platform for the Conservative Party of New York State states, in part:

    "We support a constitutional amendment that will define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. We also believe that any attempt to amend the Human Rights Law to include "transgender" language as a special class of citizens should be rejected." 6

    Michael Long, chairman of the party, wrote that any Republican senator who votes in favor of marriage equality would never be endorsed by his party again. He wrote:

    "With regard to Assembly Bill 8354, which seeks to redefine marriage, there are no Religious exemption 'carve outs' that will make this bill acceptable to the New York State Conservative Party. The only definition of marriage that is acceptable to the Conservative Party is that marriage is between one man and one woman." 7

    Shawn Marie wrote on the Conservative Party web site:

    "Today is a disheartening day for New Yorkers. Some will celebrate the fact that the long-standing definition of marriage has been changed, but New Yorkers will soon realize that the inevitable decline of the family will not be celebrated. Traditional marriage has served humanity for eons, has celebrated the joy of procreation and offered a Mother and Father the means to provide for their children. The stability of the family has helped every aspect of society. Government has a genuine role to keep society safe; it does not have a justifiable role to undermine what has been the foundation of society. ..."

    "We question how marriage will be defined in the future. Moreover, we question what will be the effect on society. Passage of this legislation, in our view, will cause irreversible damage to our economy, educational system, and the family." 8

    An anonymous person posted a comment on Marie's statement:

    "... I'm 55, have paid my full share of taxes since I'm 22. I've worked the last 21 years in social services making [the state of] NY and all those non profits I work with stronger to serve all people, without regard to race, religion, gender, political beliefs.

    I've subsidized straight marriage tax benefits, taken abuse and judgment from the narrow minded, been beaten for walking down a street and identified as gay, called names, spit upon, rejected from family... yet I'm considered the odd one. But the very groups that support George Wallace, segregation, the John Birch Society, etc., or, if you will, the Conservative Party, in its refusal to open their minds and hearts to others, position themselves as the righteous and protectors of society.

    My friends, history tells quite a different story and with the passage of the right to marry now afforded to homosexuals, I can assure it, your lives will not change, and that is saddest of all. I wish for all of you to be invited to what I'm sure will be fabulous weddings where you can see what it is like to truly love.

    I am also a deep Christian who believes love continues to teach us and discipline us. For today's lesson it is up to Conservatives to grow. I pray you do it gracefully. 9

    Ronald Raeppel (identity not verified) responded to the above posting with one of his own:

    "You are so open minded that your brains fell out. No matter what argument you make, no matter what reason or excuse you give, it will NEVER make homosexuality normal or something to look up to.

    Your so-called gay pride parades are a perfect example of just how depraved you warts on the ass of humanity are. Every body knows that if heterosexuals did half the things in public that you perverts do at your parades, we would be arrested on charges of indecency.

    And I have news for you, if any of you perverts come into my grandchildren's school and start screwing with their minds and morals to brainwash them into accepting homosexuality and being tolerant of your perversions, I will hunt you bastards down . ... That is a promise." 9

    [Phrase deleted because of its violent content].

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More reactions are listed 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 State Senate Fails to Defend Authentic Marriage." New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, 2011-JUN, at:
  3. "Gay Marriage In New York: Celebrities Celebrate," Huffington Post, 2011-JUN-25, at:
  4. Cara Matthews, "Opponents disappointed, concerned about future of marriage," Politics on the Hudson, 2011-JUN-24, at:
  5. "Marriage & relationship recognition," Human Rights Campaign, 2011-JUN, at:
  6. "2011 Conservative Party legislative priorities," Conservative Party of New York State, 2011, at:
  7. Cara Matthews, "Conservative Pty.: Religious carve-outs won't make gay-marriage bill OK," Politics on the Hudson, 2011-JUN-24, at:
  8. Sharon Marie, "Passage of Same Sex Marriage is a Disaster for the Future." Conservative Party of New York State, 2011-JUN-24, at:
  9. Ibid, Page 2
  10. Glen Coin, "Central New York same-sex couples start their wedding plans, celebrate new law," Post-Standard, 2011-JUN-26, at:
  11. David B. Caruso, "Wedding plans bloom as NY legalizes gay marriage," Associated Press, 2011-JUN-25, at:
  12. "New York Legislature Undermines True Marriage, Family, Society and the Common Good," Catholic Online, 2011-JUN-27, at:
  13. "Timothy Dolan says he loves the gay community," On Top Magazine, 2011-JUN-27, at:
  14. "Pat Robertson Says Gay Marriage Will Bring The Wrath Of God," On Top Magazine, 2011-JUN-28, at:
  15. "Help us defeat the New York Senators thatbetrayed marriage," National Organization for Marriage, at:
  16. "New York Legislature Undermines True Marriage, Family, Society and the Common Good," Catholic Online, 2011-JUN-27, at:
  17. Tony Perkins, "Family Research Council Denounces Decision by New York State Legislature to Redefine Marriage," 2011-JUN-24, at:

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Copyright 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2011-JUN-22
Latest update: 2011-JUL-07
Author: B.A. Robinson

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