Saturday, June 25, 2011

New York State Senate passes marriage equality law, 33-29

Empire State Building lit for Gay Pride
weekend, 2011. Nicholas Jackson at The Atlantic
recalls the last time the Empire State Building
shone like a rainbow at night: the passing of The
Grateful Dead's
Jerry Garcia in 1995 at age 53.
On Friday, the New York State Senate passed a marriage equality law, 33-29 which Governor Cuomo will sign as soon as he gets it. When it takes effect after 30 days, New York will become the sixth US state to permit same sex marriage. Because the population of New York State is greater than that of the other five put together, the number of US citizens who live in a state allowing same sex marriage will more than double.

Exemptions granted to religions are contained, according to Think Progress' Igor Volsky, in a companion bill introduced in the New York Assembly, which must approve said exemptions or the Senate bill — already approved by the assembly last week — is void.
    “[N]otwithstanding any state, local or municipal law, rule, regulation, ordinance, or other provision of law to the contrary, a religious entity as defined under the education law or section two of the religious corporations law, or a corporation incorporated under the benevolent orders law or described in the benevolent orders law but formed under any other law of this state, or a not-for-profit corporation operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious corporation, or any employee thereof, being managed, directed, or supervised by or in conjunction with a religious corporation, benevolent order, or a not-for-profit corporation as described in this subdivision, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage. Any such refusal to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges shall not create any civil claim or cause of action or result in any state or local government action to penalize, withhold benefits, or discriminate against such religious corporation, benevolent order, a not-for-profit explanation.”
The roll call breakdown of the vote is here.

The increasingly desperate National Organization for Marriage, which lobbied furiously against the bill and paid for hundreds of thousands of robocalls placed throughout New York State, published a sham poll days before Friday's vote and trumpeted last minute adoption distortions to scare voters into pressuring senators to vote against marriage equality.

Jeremy Hooper, of GoodAsYou, clearly in an, ahem, celebratory mood, playfully defaced with colorful graffiti digital copies of rather glum press releases from the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council.

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