diane_vera (diane_vera) wrote,

The religious right wing flexes its muscles in the NY State Senate

Looks like the religious right wing has succeeded in stalling the same-sex marriage bill in the NY State Senate.

Below are some news stories from June 1. (I've bolded some who/what/when/where details that I should research further later.)

  • Marriage question is subject of vigil: Group prays for Senate to defeat same-sex bill by Jake May, Buffalo News, June 1, 2009. Says:
  • The New York legislation, which is supported by Gov. David A. Paterson, once seemed well on its way to approval, but opposition has been growing.

    A poll released last week by the Siena Research Institute</b> found New Yorkers evenly divided on the issue, with 46 percent in favor and 46 percent against. A month earlier, the poll showed 53 percent in favor, compared with 29 percent against.


    The New York legislation, which is supported by Gov. David A. Paterson, once seemed well on its way to approval, but opposition has been growing.

    A poll released last week by the Siena Research Institute found New Yorkers evenly divided on the issue, with 46 percent in favor and 46 percent against. A month earlier, the poll showed 53 percent in favor, compared with 29 percent against.

  • A place where all things are possible? by Andrew Hedlund, ASU Web Devil, Monday, June 1, 2009. Says:
  • A conservative Arizona-based lobbyist group, the Alliance Defense Fund, is currently slowing the same-sex marriage movement. It is currently active in New York as an outside force halting the progressive nature of society.

  • Same sex marriage vote nowhere in sight, News Channel 9, WSYR-TV, Albany, NY, June 1, 2009. Says:
  • However, before the bill is put to a vote, it must first must make it past a committee, and right now, it's not even on the agenda for this senate session in the state legislature. The senate's majority leader Malcolm Smith has said he won’t bring the bill to the floor until it has at least 32 votes needed for passage.

    Regardless, the staffers at the offices of representatives in Central New York say they've been getting a lot of calls from people on both sides of the issue.

  • Dick Cheney supports gay marriage according to an Associated Press article, June 1, 2009. In that same news story, however, Cheney continues to try to justify the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo. See also Cheney: Same-sex marriage is OK, Seattle Post Intelligencer, June 1, 2009.

And now for some more recent news stories on same-sex marriage, mentioning various religious right wing groups. Some stories from yesterday, June 3:

  • Quotes from New Hampshire's gay marriage debate by the Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, June 3, 2009. In favor of New Hampshire's same-sex marriage bill - which passed successfully - there's a quote from "the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, the church's only openly gay bishop." Against it, there are quotes from Kevin Smith, executive director of gay marriage opponent Cornerstone Policy Research, and Fenton Groen of Rochester
  • "To the polling booth." -- Gay marriage opponent Fenton Groen of Rochester, when asked what his next step would be after approval of the gay marriage bill.

    In other words, a referendum like California's infamous Proposition 8 (2008).

  • Editorial: Vote on Gay Marriage, New York Times, June 3, 2009. Begins with the following concise summary of the current status of same-sex marriage here in New York State:
  • Six states have now made it legal for same-sex couples to marry. New York is not one of them. Gov. David Paterson wants the state to guarantee that right, and the protections that come with it, and the Assembly approved legislation legalizing same-sex marriage last month. Malcolm Smith, the leader of the State Senate, insists that he, too, favors marriage for gay couples, but he won’t let a bill go to the floor unless he’s privately lined up enough votes.

  • Foe of gay marriage bill challenges supporters, New York Newsday, June 3, 2009. About State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., a conservative Democratic State Senator who opposes same-sex marriage.
  • NY Senate debate over gay marriage gets nasty
  • by Michael Gormley, Associated Press, via New York Newsday, June 3, 2009. Briefly mentions State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. again. Also says:

    But Senate Democratic leader Malcolm Smith says he still doesn't have enough votes for the bill to pass.

    This week, Sen. Thomas Duane, an openly gay lawmaker sponsoring the bill, said he has enough votes now to pass it. He wouldn't identify the supporters.

  • 2,500 Rally For Same-Sex Marriage, Queens Gazette, June 3, 2009.
  • The group Western Queens for Marriage Equality co-sponsored a rally attended by close to 2,500 supporters on Sunday evening, May 31 in Athens Square Park in Astoria. Jeremiah Frei-Pearson, one of the group’s leaders, and Ron Zacchi, its executive director, conducted the proceedings, which urged state Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith to bring Governor David Paterson’s Marriage Equality bill to a vote before the state senate session ends on June 22, and pushing for both Smith and state Senator George Onorato to vote yes. All of the speakers present gave strong reasons in favor of the bill. Father Louis Braxton of Carmen’s Place, a shelter for LBGT youth, reported that he and a group of older people met with Onorato and pleaded with him on behalf of the youth, stating that the young people Braxton works with deserve to get married and have families some day.


    The rally was sponsored by a coalition of groups including Western Queens for Marriage Equality, Marriage Equality New York, Democracy for New York City, the New York Civil Liberties Union, Long Island City Alliance, New York State Young Democrats, Queens County Young Democrats, NewYorkEquality.com, West Queens Greens, the Jewish Alliance for Change, IntegrityNYC, Broadway Impact, Civil Rights Front, The Power, Civil Marriage Trail Project, OUT Astoria, Astorians United Against Hate Crimes and Astorians United for Peace and Justice.

  • Actress Cynthia Nixon is lobbying New York lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage and says she hopes to marry her partner in New York next year if the law is enacted, according to the news story Actress Nixon pushes same-sex marriage in NY, Associated Press, via Google News, June 3, 2009.

And now for some news stories from today, June 4:

  • Same-Sex Marriage In NY State: The NH Solution? by Evan Dawson, 13 WHAM, Rochester, NY, no date (June 4?). Suggests adding a religious exemption to the bill, specifically allowing clergy to refuse to perform ceremonies contrary to their faith. (I don't think clergy could be forced to perform such ceremonies anyway, but perhaps such an explicit clause is necessary to take the wind out of the sails of religious right wingers' claims that their own "religious freedom" is threatened.) Contains links to (1) Is Gay Marriage Coming or Going in NY State? by Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right, June 3, 2009, about a poll of NY State's 62 state senators by NY1, and (2) The New Hampshire Formula by Andrew Sullivan, June 3, 2009, on the website of The Atlantic.
  • New York Bishops Issue Statement Against Same-Sex Marriage, on the website Catholic Culture: Living the Catholic Life, June 4, 2004. Contains a link to the statement itself, Statement of the Catholic Bishops of New York State on Marriage, dated June 1, 2009, on the website of the New York State Catholic Conference. This statement is also said to have been issued "today" in a news story dated June 3, New York Catholic Bishops issue statement on same-sex marriage, News 10 WHEN, Albany, NY. The latter story begins as follows:
  • In New York, the issue of same-sex marriage seems to be "dead in the water" for the time being, but the State's Roman Catholic bishops are not taking any chances.

    The eight bishops, including Howard Hubbard of the Albany Diocese, called on Catholics and all New Yorkers Wednesday to contact their State Senators, urging them to oppose the legalization bill that already passed the Assembly.

  • Christian Minister Fights for Gay Marriage Berkeley Daily Planet, June 04, 2009. About the Rev. Mark Wilson, an openly gay African-American evangelical. Includes the following:
  • Initially, the black church was blamed for the passage of Prop. 8 by many on the left. Exit polls suggested that many of the same African-American voters who turned out to support Barack Obama also tipped the balance on Prop. 8.

    But a study conducted by Patrick Egan of New York University and Kenneth Sherrill of Hunter College revealed that the “Yes on Proposition 8” vote in California had less to do with race and was much more about religion. When Egan and Sherrill sliced up the pie, they discovered that roughly 70 percent of Californians who attend religious worship on a weekly basis supported Prop. 8, regardless of their race. And since African-Americans attend religious services on a more frequent basis than the average Californian, it is only to be expected that a majority of voters in the African-American community supported Prop. 8.

    Kenneth P. Miller, associate professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in Southern California, recently published an article, “The Democratic Coalition’s Religious Divide: Why California Voters Supported Obama but Not Same-Sex Marriage,” that describes the electoral politics that drove the vote on Prop. 8. Miller said same-sex marriage proponents will need to make inroads with the Christian community in California if they are to produce a different outcome in 2010 or 2012.

    “They need to persuade those Christian voters that extending marriage rights to the gay community is consistent with their religious beliefs, not undermining them,” he said. “There are a lot of strong Christian arguments for and against gay marriage.”

    Rev. Wilson has spent a lifetime in this polarized Christian debate on homosexuality. From as far back as Wilson can remember, he’s known two things about himself: he has a natural gift for preaching the gospel, and he is gay.

    Well, it will be interesting to see whether any significant change on this issue develops amongst otherwise conservative evangelicals. So far, as a general rule, those Christian churches that favor gay rights tend to be of the more liberal sort which don't believe in a Devil.

Tags: california, catholic, christianity, evangelical christians, gay rights, glbt, lgbt, new york state, religion-based bigotry, religious right wing, same-sex marriage
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded