When same-sex marriage bill was passed by New York State Legislature on June 24, it apparently did not put an end to the gay marriage battle. If anything, it added coals to the fire. Once the new law went into effect, thousands of protestors the same day and a lawsuit filed the next day asking for the law to go null and void have demonstrated the unquenchable fire over the debate of same-sex marriage.
"Let The People Vote"
Over 10,000 demonstrators crowded streets and plazas across four cities in New York, chanting "Let the people vote" as hundreds of gay couples received their marriage licenses on Sunday, the first day for same-sex marriage law to go into effect in New York.
There was even a protestor holding sign that says, "I am Gay! I don't support same sex marriage, civil unions or gay adoptions. Overturn this shame of a same sex marriage bill now!!!"
More than 10,000 supporters of "Let The People Vote" rallies marched in New York City, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo starting 3 p.m. on Sunday, urging the Legislature to put the issue of gay marriage before voters in a statewide referendum.
"The crowds of supporters were just amazing," said Brian Brown, president of The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which organized the rallies. "The crowd in Manhattan was so large the NYPD asked us to begin our march early so that we could relieve overcrowding at the gathering site. By the time we reached the United Nation's plaza, nearly 10,000 people were present. This shows that a new era in the debate about same-sex marriage has begun. It's not about what politicians think is best, it's about demanding that the People be given their right to be heard."
NOM plans to work with other rally organizers to put a measure on the 2014 ballot to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, organizing monthly activities to keep up public pressure and momentum for the amendment.
Unlike California, New York does not allow the people to directly petition to put the gay marriage issue on a ballot referendum, said The Christian Post. In order for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to get on the ballot, a majority in both the state House and Senate needs to vote to bring the issue before 20 million New Yorkers.
Opponents of same-sex marriage are confident in the victory of traditional marriage over the "redefined" marriage that includes gay couples, once New Yorkers are allowed to vote. NOM believes that a majority of New Yorkers would uphold the traditional definition of marriage, because no state has ever approved same-sex marriage when the issue was put before voters.
"California had approved the law, but there was a referendum to the people and in the election, we won and abolished the law. I believe it can succeed in New York State. So we must continue the fight, which is only beginning," Dr. Hector A. Chiesa, president of Radio Vision Cristiana 1330 AM, told the Post.
Lawsuit Against New York Legislature
On Monday, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF), a New York political lobbying organization founded by a group of pastors, filed a lawsuit to overturn the same-sex marriage law. Plaintiffs claim that the state Legislature used a corrupt legislative process to pass the Marriage Equality Act.
According to the organization's website, NYCF claims that same-sex marriage law was passed only through:
Meetings that violated New York State Open Meetings Laws.
The suspension of normal Senate voting procedures to prevent Senators who opposed the bill from speaking.
Failure to follow Senate procedures that require that a bill must be sent to appropriate committees prior to being placed before the full Senate for a vote.
Unprecedented Senate lock-outs by which lobbyists and the public were denied access to elected representatives.
The Governor's violation of the constitutionally mandated three-day review period before the Legislature votes on a bill by unjustifiably issuing a message of necessity.
Promises (which were fulfilled) by high-profile elected officials and Wall Street financiers to make large campaign contributions to Republican senators who switched their vote from opposing to supporting the Marriage Equality Act.
"Constitutional liberties were violated. Today we are asking the court to intervene in its rightful role as the check and balance on an out-of-control State Legislature," said Rev. Jason J. McGuire, Executive Director of NYCF.
"It is unfortunate that state senators chose to protect their personal interests, rather than the people they were elected to represent. Some of the players may have changed, but it looks like same old Albany game. It is time the curtain be pulled back and the disinfecting light of good government shine upon the Cuomo Administration and our State Legislature."
According to the legal complaint, the suit seeks "to preserve not only marriage as the union of one woman to one man, but also our constitutional liberties by acting as a check on an out-of-control political process that was willing to pass a bill regardless of how many laws and rules it violated."
Is marriage a mere pursuit of personal happiness and freedom, or a public institution that shapes and impacts the society as a whole? The same-sex marriage opponents are concerned over the dilution of the significance of marriage and family values in the accelerating gay rights movement.
"The idea that a man could 'marry' another man (or that a woman could 'marry' another woman) could be taken seriously only in a culture that has become deeply confused about what marriage is. That confusion is largely the result of what heterosexuals have done to marriage in recent decades," says Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
"The spread of same-sex marriage would make that rebuilding project impossible, as it would sever permanently the societal understanding of the inherent link between marriage and responsible procreation and child-rearing. The more confusion there is about the mission of marriage, the less well marriage will perform its critical mission. And the millions and millions of victims-children born into unstable or nonexistent families-will continue to pile up, with all the attendant disastrous consequences."
Another lawsuit is promised by Bronx Senator Ruben Diaz next week, to challenge the judicial waiver that allowed same-sex couples to marry on the same day of the marriage license application.
More buzzes over gay marriage issues are sure to come.