Opinion

New York’s gay marriage law will hurt New Yorkers

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Tom McClusky
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      Tom McClusky

      Tom McClusky is senior vice president at Family Research Council Action, the legislative advocacy arm of the Family Research Council. He is a native New Yorker.

Friday’s decision by the New York State Legislature to redefine marriage shows not only the weakness of New York’s legislators, but also the enormous spending power wielded by the small but vocal minority seeking to redefine marriage and the family.

A recent poll showed that nearly 60 percent of New Yorkers support marriage as it has always been understood. The fact that New York’s legislators deliberately ignored the calls of their constituents to defend the institution of marriage shows how little they respect the will of their people and how much they fear the homosexual lobby.

The so-called religious protections that were tacked on to the bill ultimately will do nothing to protect the religious rights of New York citizens. When push comes to shove, as in other states, activist judges are sure to rule against religious organizations. And even if the so-called “inseverability clause” in the legislation were to hold, which is doubtful, the language does nothing to protect people of faith who might object, only the buildings where they go to worship.

Laws undermining the sanctity of marriage anywhere diminish marriage everywhere. If marriage is not a sacred institution, grounded in natural law, for the raising of families, then what is it?

What’s so unfortunate for conservatives is that Republicans in the New York Senate allowed this to happen, especially Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Chicago politics has nothing on New York. The fact that Senator Skelos’s company has a $1.7 billion contract with the state government probably weighed heavy on his mind. New York’s families were not represented well by either of the state’s major parties on this issue, as their opinions were largely ignored.

Republicans at the state and national level should take heed. If you won’t stand up for the values that have helped shape the Republican Party since its origin, values voters will either stay home or find new alternatives in which to place their support. In New York this lesson will be learned.

Homosexual marriage isn’t an issue of individual rights, since every American can marry — right now — if they choose. The fact that there are restrictions on who they can marry, and at what age, or restrictions on marrying relatives, does not mean they are being discriminated against, but that marriage is defined in a certain way.

Furthermore, the first “victim” of same-sex “marriage” is always religious liberty, the “first freedom” in our Bill of Rights. In places such as Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, the local governments chased the Catholic Church out of the business of adoption, believing that pushing a radical agenda is worth sacrificing a few orphans over.

It is for this reason the Catholic Church in New York State fought so valiantly, alongside heroes such as State Senator Ruben Diaz, a Democrat.

Of course, the most unfortunate result of this bill is that the New York State Legislature’s denial of its citizens’ right to vote on the issue of marriage eliminates the possibility that the people of New York could stand up and speak for themselves, as the voters in the solid majority of states, including California, were able to do. According to pollster John McLaughlin, a native New Yorker, “if they had brought the gay marriage bill to a public referendum, I don’t think it would have passed.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo and supporters of counterfeit “marriage” have won a victory in New York State. The losers, sadly, are the people of New York.

Tom McClusky is senior vice president at Family Research Council Action, the legislative advocacy arm of the Family Research Council. He is a native New Yorker.

  • leigh666

    I agree, this article and it’s assumptions are crap! I guess an “activist” judge is one that disagrees with you.
    the catholic church pulled ITSELF out of the adoption business, and while we are at it, they have absolutely no room to say anything about morality considering the child abuse scandals that plague this organization.
    If you want to get into the faux argument about “redefining” the institution of “marriage” look no further than the Bible. Culturally when the bible was written polygomy was widely accepted, it’s all over the Old and New Testament.
    Cultural acceptences change, look at the arguments that were mage in the 60′s about inter-racial marriage…and looked what happened, NOTHING! inter-racial marriages didn’t bring the US to it’s feet.
    What we are witnessing here is a group of people gasping for their last breath as the world pases them by!

  • nice_marmot

    What a load of crap. The framers of the Constitution wisely included provisions to prevent the subjection of minorities from the majority and to ensure that the government and the law are insulated from religious caprice.
    The “will of the people” is not sufficient cause for discrimination. The will of the people once relegated African-Americans to the back of the bus and prohibited interracial marriage in many places.
    Also, what exactly do people of faith need protection from and how does gay marriage interfere with religious liberty? Allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in no way harms “people of faith” (are there no homosexual people of faith?) beyond offending their apparently delicate religious sensibilities. Nor does gay marriage prohibit the free exercise of religion (and to say that local governments chased the Catholic Church out of the adoption business is disingenuous; the Church took itself out of the adoption business because its objection to homosexual parents trumped the well-being of children in need of adoption). The restrictions cited in support of the argument for limiting marriage rights are in place to protect minors and prevent severe genetic defects. And what of a heterosexual marriage that cannot produce a family to raise because of infertility? By the reasoning in this piece, such couples also diminish the “sanctity” of marriage.
    The argument for public referendum is commonly raised by those who feel slighted by their elected legislators, who serve as our proxies in our system of representative democracy, which thankfully includes checks and balances and constitutional qualifications to protect all of us.
    Finally, if some (or even many) people of faith think gay marriage is icky or a mortal sin or somehow diminishes the sanctity of their own marriages, that’s just too bad. The Constitution guarantees religious liberties and protects religious beliefs from interference by the government. Thankfully, it also protects the rest of us from others’ beliefs.

    • GOPNYC

      The reason that this law should have been voted on in referendum is that it re-defines marriage. Since the New York Constitution gives jurisdiction over different courts for children in divorce and marriage cases versus unmarried couples with children, the New York law purports to changes the New York constitution by changing the court having jurisdiction over the affairs of same-sex couples who are married. That requires an amendment to the state constitution which, in turn, requires referendum.

      Bottom line: the “Same sex marriage law” is unconstitutional under New York’s constitution. It will have to adopted again — by referendum — whenever it is challenged in court (by, for example, the father or mother of a child whose other parent has entered into a lesbian or gay marriage.)

  • johno413

    Although it seems to me the gay marriage boat has sailed and has been at sea for a while, I appreciate some of the well worded thoughts from Mr. McClusky. That the public has been blocked from voting in MA and likely will be blocked in the future in NY is a bad sign.

    But, I still have never gotten a clear picture on the one item that would seem to solve this dilemma – why hasn’t there been an effort to grant a similar institution to non-traditional couples? Why isn’t there a big push by all of the opposition for a civil ceremony and label, for example?

    • ChickFight

      “why hasn’t there been an effort to grant a similar institution to non-traditional couples?”

      Because gays aren’t satisfied with what they deem a ‘separate but equal’ arrangement. They are convinced that it is a civil rights issue. Besides, legalizing civil partnerships is only a path to gay marriage anyway. Without enacting either, gays are already entitled to make many of the same legal arrangements as any cohabiting couple, but again, they consider these distinctions a kind of second class status.

      Anyway, if you’re interested, here is Harvard Law’s secular treatise on all of the reasons why alternative marriage is not in fact marriage at all, and therefore, should not be legalized. [Download PDF] http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1722155#