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06/14/2011

NY marriage bill on the move; NY Pride marchers brainstorming new rhyming demands

by Jeremy Hooper

With 30 of the 32 needed New York Senators officially on board, we officially have a Senate bill:

Marriage Equality Bill
"From the fight for women's suffrage to the struggle for civil rights, New Yorkers have been on the right side of history. But on the issue of marriage equality, our state has fallen behind," Governor Cuomo said. "For too long, same-sex couples have been denied the freedom to marry, as well as hundreds of rights that other New Yorkers take for granted. Marriage Equality is a matter of fairness and legal security for thousands of families in this state – not of religion or culture. When it comes to fighting for what's right, New Yorkers wrote the book, and Marriage Equality is the next chapter of our civil rights story."
...
The Marriage Equality Act would remove these barriers by amending New York's Domestic Relations Law to state:

A marriage that is otherwise valid shall be valid regardless of whether the parties to the marriage are of the same or different sex

-No government treatment or legal status, effect, right, benefit, privilege, protection or responsibility relating to marriage shall differ based on the parties to the marriage being the same sex or a different sex

-All relevant gender-specific language set forth in or referenced by New York law shall be construed in a gender-neutral manner

-No application for a marriage license shall be denied on the ground that the parties are of the same or a different sex

To ensure that the bill does not intrude into matters of religious belief, the Marriage Equality Act affirms that no member of the clergy can be compelled to solemnize any marriage. This bill grants equal access to the government-created legal institution of civil marriage while leaving the religious institution of marriage to its own separate and fully autonomous sphere. The bill also guarantees that religious institutions and benevolent organizations such as the Knights of Columbus remain free to choose who may use their facilities for marriage ceremonies and celebrations or to whom they provide religious services, consistent with their religious principles.
Governor Cuomo Proposes Marriage Equality Act [Gov. Cuomo]

Two years ago yesterday, this New York-based had to go to Connecticut in order to marry the man of his dreams. Right now, as I write this, I'm on a flight to Minneapolis. For the love of luggage: Am I always going to have to flee my home state before equality can happen!?! Because I'm totally willing to take a vacation every time we have a crucial vote -- I just need to know.

Break


*UPDATE: Vote count now at 31!!!

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