Same sex marriage DOA in NY
New York will not be joining Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Iowa in legalizing same-sex marriage after the state Senate rejected the bill on Wednesday.
The State Assembly passed it, but the dysfunctional Senate could only muster 24 of the 32 votes it needed.
The Senate debate was spirited on Wednesday. "
There's something special about New York. We have the legacy of setting the tone for the rest of the country. This an important issue and I'm asking us to send a message across the country," said Sen. Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn) said.
"We owe it to the entire gay community around the state of New York to pass this legislation," added Sen. Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx).
"We have nothing to fear from people who are committed to each other and want to share their lives and protect one another in the event of sickness, illness, or death. We have nothing to fear from love and commitment," said Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island).
But in the end, the vote to legalize same-sex marriage in New York was defeated by the members of the state Senate, 38 "no" votes to just 24 "yes" votes, a move that was particularly upsetting to Amy Lavine and Ilene Sameth, a couple who have been together for 25 years and watch the debate with hands clasped, hoping to be able to legally marry in New York.
"It is really devastating, it really is. I don't even know how to put it into words. It is really sad that people could not hear the arguments that are being made," said Lavine.
"To hear that things are not that we really hoped for as Amy said, it's very hard to put that into words," added Sameth.
I'm not heartless. I feel for these people. We both do because we know gay people. We both understand their frustration. But there is a legal means to go through to achieve what is, technically in the eyes of the law, a viable "marriage." Gays can go to virtually any lawyer that specializes in such matters, and file the proper paperwork to give their partners the same benefits and privileges that a married couple has.
And those claiming that this is unconstitutional, that they have a right to marry, no you don't. You can quote the 14th Amendment chapter and verse, but not even the Supreme Court has ruled on this at all, and the argument is specious, at best. The 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause never has been applied to those of alternative lifestyles, i.e. sexual orientation.
The 14th Amendment was "created" after the Civil War to ensure (hopefully) equal rights for the newly-freed slaves. But "Black Codes" and Jim Crow laws were passed int he South forcing amendments to the federal Constitution ensuring certain rights be granted and protected against blacks still being oppressed in the nation. Later years, the Equal Protection Clause was used to ensure women's rights in many areas of the law including, misguidedly, abortions.
The difference between those instances, and this one (and subsequent ones, including the argument over California's Proposition *, which amended their state constitution) is that the previous arguments -- the full initiation of rights for blacks (and other minorities) and women is that those issues dealt with rights that were, illegally, being withheld from them.
Marriage isn't a right.
The 14th Amendment really doesn't resonate too much with either of us. If this were a question of rights, we believe that would have merit in their argument. But this doesn't apply to rights, or rights denied to them. This deals with an unenumerated freedom, enacted by God, and reserved for a man and woman. The high court, should a case ever be appealed to it, should recognize the lack of merit in such a suit.
Gays have an option, and the more militant (pardon the word) ones are determined to get their way despite the fact that a majority of the nation is against this, and so are most lawmakers (when called on the carpet for a vote). To my knowledge, the only states that have "gay marriage laws" are those where the courts have stepped in, and stepped on the will of the people by inaccurately ruling that marriage is a right when it's not. Every time the public is confronted -- via their votes -- by this idea, it's soundly rejected.
Oh, and before some go off and call us bigots, check your facts first, please? We're federalists. That means that should any state enact law approving gay marriage, we'll honor that law, in that state. Full faith and credit should be bestowed on that couple should they choose to move to another state, even if that state doesn't approve gay marriage. That's a part of our system of government, and instead of filing non-meritorious suits in court, maybe the gay community should work at the state level, and get is passed just once. Right now, they're 0 for 32. Those numbers might start to change, via public opinion, if they won just one battle.