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Challenge to NY Marriage Equality Thrown Out

Challenge to NY Marriage Equality Thrown Out


A New York state appeals court has thrown out a suit challenging the legality of the process by which marriage equality was passed into law by the state’s Senate last year.

Reports the Advocate:

The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court in Rochester said in a 5-0 decision that closed-door negotiations between Republican senators and campaigners for the bill, including Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, did not violate the state’s Open Meetings Law. New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, a group representing evangelical Protestants that lobbied against the measure’s passage in Albany, filed the suit last year on July 25, one day after the new law took effect.

“Today the New York State Appellate Court, Fourth Department upheld New York’s Marriage Equality Act, which ensures that marriage is available to all New York couples regardless of sexual orientation,” said Cuomo in a statement. “This law was passed by both houses of the legislature and signed into law in June 2011. The court’s decision affirms that in our state, there is marriage equality for all, and with this decision New York continues to stand as a progressive leader for the nation.”

In November, Supreme Court Judge Robert Wiggins in Livingston County ruled that the case could proceed. His opinion raised eyebrows for its declarative language that there had been “clear” arm-twisting in order to pass the law–something the state’s administration strongly denied.

Religious right groups had charged that the way in which a vote on the law had been brought about, and also the closed door discussions between Governor Cuomo and Republican legislators, violated New York’s Open Meetings Law which requires the public be allowed access to discussions during the legislative process.

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, the state group behind the lawsuit, has indicated that it is assessing its legal options. It could appeal the ruling, however this week’s unanimous verdict would seem to set a high barrier against further action.


Related Reading:

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New York’s Same-Sex Marriage Lottery, a NOM Rally and Hairy Puppet Marriage

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Photo used under the MorgueFile user license, with thanks to mensatic.

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9:02PM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

Thanks Steve for the article. Good for the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court in Rochester. Another court victory for Marriage Equality.

3:40PM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

While it is true that the discussions and vote should have been open and transparent. The hope of overturning the constitutionality of a law on the grounds of procedural impropriety seems a bit far fetched if you ask me. Did New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms truly believe that they could have the law struck down because the discussions and vote were not open to the public and thereby have gay and lesbian citizens of the state denied their constitutional rights to equality under the law? New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms defends unconstitutionality!

7:56AM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

Human rights for ALL humans!

3:15PM PDT on Jul 8, 2012


1:04PM PDT on Jul 8, 2012


11:27AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

Happiness is...Thank you New York

9:30AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

Another victory for us!

9:13AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012


8:09AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

Thank you

6:51AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

Notice how bigotted, ultraconservative, right-wing, hatemongering groups like to incorporate something religious or patriotic in their names -- New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, the anti-gay marriage group in the Empire state, is anything but for Constituional Freedoms.

(I'll bet they want to burn the Constituion, but they would never allow their precious flag to be burned because they use it to wave in people's faces.).
(I'll also bet they claim Jeezuz hated gays despite the fact that Jesus never mentioned anything about gays in the New Testament.)

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