A New York appellate court just tossed out a lawsuit that, if successful, could have killed New York’s one-year old same-sex marriage law, possibly nullifying thousands of marriages of gay and lesbian couples. The lawsuit, by the ironically, Orwellianly-named New Yorkers For Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF), claimed that Governor Cuomo and members of the New York State Senate, violated the state’s open meetings law when they convened in private to discuss the impending vote on same-sex marriage equality. It is far from uncommon for lawmakers to meet in private to discuss upcoming legislation and strategies.
Governor Cuomo issued this statement:
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. 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.
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who just married last month, offered her congratulations via this tweet:
— Christine C. Quinn (@ChrisCQuinn) July 6, 2012
New Yorkers For Constitutional Freedoms, an anti-gay religion-based group which “exists to influence legislation and legislators for the Lord Jesus Christ,” was represented by Mat Staver’s Liberty Counsel, which has a close relationship with Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University.
NYCF published this statement today:
“Cleary I am disappointed by the decision from the Appellate Division, but if there is one thing I have learned it is that there is a certain ebb and flow to the various levels of court actions, said Rev. Jason J. McGuire, NYCF’s Executive Director and a plaintiff in the case.
McGuire continued, “The truth is even liberal-leaning good government groups have had to admit that the process by which same-sex ‘marriage’ became law was a bad one. If we can’t trust elected leaders to play by the rules when they seek to pass legislation, then anything can pass against the will of the people – whether it be same-sex ‘marriage’ or a national health care initiative.”
“I will sit down with Rena Lindevaldsen and the rest of our attorneys at the Liberty Counsel, review the Appellate Division decision and weigh our legal options moving forward. The integrity of our legislative process is at stake – and it is worth defending,” concluded McGuire.
New Yorkers For Constitutional Freedoms has been affiliated with New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz.
Diaz insinuated last July that the lawsuit was coming, stating, “We’re going to show them next week that everything they did today was illegal,” Diaz said, speaking in Spanish, adding, “Today we start the battle! Today we start the war!”
Court document via Casey Seiler, Capitol bureau chief, Capitol Confidential
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