Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born.
The marriage bill, whose fate was uncertain until moments before the vote, was approved 33 to 29 in a packed but hushed Senate chamber. Four members of the Republican majority joined all but one Democrat in the Senate in supporting the measure after an intense and emotional campaign aimed at the handful of lawmakers wrestling with a decision that divided their friends, their constituents and sometimes their own homes....
1. BlueOntario wrote:
Can’t wait until someone challenges the limits this puts on poly-marriages or incest. Ageism?
June 25, 1:31 pm | [comment link]
2. Br. Michael wrote:
Here is the text:
§ 10-a. Sex of parties. 1. A marriage that is otherwise valid shall be
21 valid regardless of whether the parties to the marriage are of the same
22 or different sex.
1 2. No government treatment or legal status, effect, right, benefit,
2 privilege, protection or responsibility relating to marriage, whether
3 deriving from statute, administrative or court rule, public policy,
4 common law or any other source of law, shall differ based on the parties
5 to the marriage being or having been of the same sex rather than a
6 different sex. When necessary to implement the rights and responsibil-
7 ities of spouses under the law, all gender-specific language or terms
8 shall be construed in a gender-neutral manner in all such sources of
So any two people can get married. (Although why only two is a matter for another day). Unless there is something to the contrary this would seem to include siblings or parent and child. To the extent that incest laws apply this is to protect from genetic defects caused by inbreeding. Because same sex unions are inherently sterile inbreeding is not of any concern. Consequently I don’t see any reason to object to such unions with the passage of this legislation.
Of course with the passage of this legislation I see no reason why couples should receive more benefits than those provided to singles.
June 25, 2:06 pm | [comment link]
3. BlueOntario wrote:
It often seems that the New York State Court of Appeals decides things based on the flavor of the day. Whether it is constitutional in New York to limit marraige to two people, or two-unrelated people, or whether progeny or relationship have any bearing in lawfully being married is up to them at this point. I can see no reason for someone in any of those types of relationships and desiring legal validity to not challenge New York State law on marraige based on the logic behind this one: civil rights.
June 25, 2:26 pm | [comment link]
4. Br. Michael wrote:
No reason at all. Once you leap the concrete fact of sex, all other constraints are arbitrary.
June 25, 2:54 pm | [comment link]
5. wdg_pgh wrote:
The laws against polygamy are not arbitrary. They were passed in the U.S. because it became clear from the actual experience of polygamy that it usually involved the victimization of women. One of the main reasons for laws is to protect individuals from victimization by others. Regardless of what one feels about same gender marriage, it would be difficult to argue that it involves victimization of one partner by the other.
June 25, 3:37 pm | [comment link]
6. Br. Michael wrote:
5, not at all. Lots of places have polygamy. And you are assuming victimization. I am sure you can find polygamous arrangements where the women will say that they are perfectly happy. How can you deny them their civil rights?
Actually I am looking forward to the gays arguing that “progress stops with them.”
June 25, 4:05 pm | [comment link]
7. wdg_pgh wrote:
The outlawing of polygamy in the U.S. was in large part a result of the crusade of Ann Eliza Young, the nineteenth wife of Brigham Young, who “revealed the degradations of polygamy to the American public more powerfully than ever before.” Some may have disagreed with her, but the resulting laws were anything but arbitrary; they were based upon real evidence of the damage done by plural marriage. In the ante-bellum American South you could have found slaves that claimed to be perfectly happy as well.
June 25, 4:42 pm | [comment link]
8. Uh Clint wrote:
One question I’d put forth is whether or not there is a “conscience/religious objection” clause to the legislation. This would take two forms:
1) Allow protection for civil servants who, by the doctrines of their religion, hold beliefs that would preclude them from officiating at same-sex marriages.
2) Prohibit legal action against churches/religions/clergy who decline to perform same-sex marriages because of the doctrines of their church/religion.
I can see a very real possibility that two men (or women) will walk into a Roman Catholic church, ask to be married by the priest, and upon being denied they will hire a lawyer and file a discrimination suit against the RC Church for failing to adhere to New York State law permitting same-sex marriages. Unless there is a specific section in the law which permits SSM which addresses this, there would be no protection whatsoever for churches - previous experience (as in adoption by same-sex couples, filling of prescriptions for birth control & abortifactants, and providing abortions) shows that “freedom of religion” will not be accepted as a reason to decline to perform SSM’s.
June 25, 5:02 pm | [comment link]
9. Br. Michael wrote:
7, that was then and this is now. They didn’t know about sexual orientation then either. But if you want to deny people their civil rights go ahead.
June 25, 5:25 pm | [comment link]
10. Br. Michael wrote:
Oh and it could be one woman and several men or any combination. Why assume the Mormon model?
June 25, 5:27 pm | [comment link]
11. BlueOntario wrote:
ah, it’s about taking advantage. So, there can be no victimization where only two, non-related people decide to hitch up, just with additional people? Well, additional women, you say. And this is not arbitrary, how? And is it polygamy that you object to but not also polyandry and/or polyamory? We need to know where you set the boundaries.
I’m ready to admit that the previous law was arbitrary and discriminatory, and that it was so because it was based on Christian principles. Perhaps we can agree that all law is discriminatory in that it holds that there is a right way and a wrong way and discriminates against the lawbreaker? Now that it’s been decided in New York that the law should be based on other principles I’m looking for some logic in finding other groups desires or actions to be wrong, not just because in a past example where a man married more than one woman he was victimizing them. C’mon, Big Love didn’t get you wondering if whether here, now, in the 21st century, women maybe can make rational decisions about these sorts of relationships? And if a woman or several of them can decide for themselves, why not anyone? And why does one have to be non-related to be a non-victim?
I admit why I am willing to discriminate: I accept the Christian definition of marraige. Why are you so willing to discriminate with your definition against people who don’t see themselves as victims and just want to be happy? Please, because unless they know they’ve crossed a line they should not have crossed, unless they felt some pangs of their conscience when they stuck their toes in the water, why the lawmakers stopped short now that they’ve opened the door seems to me to lack logic and be cowardly.
June 25, 5:41 pm | [comment link]
12. LumenChristie wrote:
Uh Clint: We have been told that there is indeed a clause in the bill protecting all “religious organizations” from being penalized for refusing to do same-sex pseudo-marriages. At least at this stage of the game. However, I have not myself been able to find the exact wording.
As for those 4 weasel purported Republicans. I’m on my way down the Hudson to see that at least one of them does NOT get re-elected. Heading for Poughkeepsie…..
June 25, 9:05 pm | [comment link]
13. wildfire wrote:
My senator was one of the four Republican senators who voted in favor of this. Mrs. Wildfire and I emailed him a week ago and told him in no uncertain terms how we would react to his vote. I intend to email him periodically for the remainder of his term and remind him that “never” means never. The state Republican party in NY needs to be thrown out of office for the good of the country.
June 25, 9:13 pm | [comment link]
14. wdg_pgh wrote:
10: OK, I should have said plural marriage or something of that sort. The law prohibits plural marriage, not just polygamy. The background of the law is primarily about polygamy. As far as I know, other forms of plural marriage have seldom been practiced in the U.S.
11: Of course, victimization can occur in two-partner marriages (of opposite or same sex). The difference is that the historical experience of polygamy shows that victimization usually occurs in such marriages, and this was the basis for outlawing it. I have never watched Big Love, but I know that it is fiction. It may or may not accurately represent real life. If there were ever a major effort to rescind our laws against plural marriage, we would need to determine whether past experience is no longer valid, but a few examples of non-exploitative plural marriages would not be sufficient to demonstrate that. We do not eliminate laws against DUI just because people aren’t killed every time someone drinks and drives.
BTW re comment 2, laws against incest are not only because of the potential for genetic defects, they are also based upon the fact that the complex relationships between parent and offspring and even between two siblings make sexual activity between them especially prone to exploitation.
The real point is that laws against plural marriage and against incest are (a) not arbitrary—they are based on evidence that such marriages are often damaging to those involved—and (b) that the basis for such laws is not purely religious—the reasoning behind them comes from a secular, not simply a religious perspective.
So what happens if we allow same gender marriage and then twenty years from now we find that it is prone to victimization of the participants and/or damage to society? Would we say “well we allowed same-gender marriage and it turned out badly, so we might as well allow plural marriage too, even though it will probably turn out badly?” I doubt it. Of course our—admittedly limited—experience in the states that have allowed same-gender marriage does not show any evidence of such negative consequences so far. Would that be an excuse for overturning laws against incest and plural marriage? I doubt that also. Those laws have their own justification, which, whether you agree that they are accurate, are not arbitrary.
June 25, 9:20 pm | [comment link]
16. BlueOntario wrote:
I don’t believe your arguements are any stronger against legalizing poly relationships (marraige, if you will), or brother/sister, etc., then were those against legalizing and defining homosexual marraige. Why does victimization nearly a century and a half ago in a particular, isolated, religious group mean New York state should not further broaden legal acceptance of consensual relationships in our modern 21st century society? After all, if we were to cling to tradition, well, we wouldn’t be where we are. Or go where we may go. The crux of the changes just made were because people who love each other have civil rights, have they not?, which it was decided includes the right to marry who they will.
But, who knows, perhaps you are correct and the belief that in those cases the people involved can’t possibly be in love or understand the consequences will be why a new line is drawn for the time being. It just sound so odd after this week.
June 26, 1:07 am | [comment link]
17. Terry Tee wrote:
One of the things that surprised me in the debate before this vote was the number of legislators who said that they had been convinced by the swing in public opinion as evinced by opinion polls. Well, first of all, the question you ask often dictates the answer you get, and I would have wanted to look closely at the polls. Second, do we elect lawmakers to obey polls? Here in the UK polls would regularly show a large majority in favour of capital punishment, yet our lawmakers abolished it. I thought that we elected them to abide by their conscience, according to the principles they had demonstrated to us beforehand. Finally, if I read him right, Archbishop Timothy Dolan has asked the New York state lawmakers why, if they so certain of public support, they have not held a referendum on the issue?
June 26, 8:45 am | [comment link]
18. Br. Michael wrote:
14, they are no more arbitrary than laws prohibiting same sex marriage and sodomy. You are simply engaged in special pleading.
June 26, 4:24 pm | [comment link]