After New York marriage equality passed, the executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, Reverend Jason McGuire alleged that Governor Andrew Cuomo violated senatorial procedure by holding secret meetings; rushing the bill through the legislature and offering dollars and fancy dinners to any Republicans voting for the bill.
McGuire filed a lawsuit to overturn marriage equality on these technical grounds and this week New York Supreme Court Judge Robert Wiggins allowed the lawsuit to proceed. But that’s a good thing, even if Wiggins did add a few saucy words slamming Cuomo for his alleged hastiness and arm-bending. Here’s why:
Basically the lawsuit challenges marriage equality because of how it was passed, not why it was passed. As such, McGuire’s lawsuit provides no arguments against marriage equality, only against the methods used to legalize it. And while the court proceedings get underway, it will give the media a chance to scrutinize the anti-LGBT records of NYCF as well as their partners Torah Jews for Decency and the Liberty Counsel, both far-right groups that have spent years demonizing LGBT families.
Furthermore, even if McGuire succeeds, his case could get overturned at the appellate level and a ruling in his favor won’t do anything to achieve the anti-LGBT dream of overturning the marriage law in four years nor allowing New York to vote on marriage equality. So while we’ll be keeping our eyes on this case, you probably shouldn’t lose too much sleep over it just yet.
Something worth noting though is that even though Judge Wiggins claimed to disregard his own feelings on marriage equality, his decision still included some very saucy language revealing some bias (emphasis added):
“It is ironic that much of the state’s brief passionately spews sanctimonious verbiage on the separation of powers in the governmental branches, and clear arm-twisting by the Executive on the Legislative permeates this entire process. [Cuomo also issued a] message of necessity that allows for a quicker vote, Cuomo had written that continued delay would deny more than 50,000 same-sex couples critical protections afforded to heterosexual couples. Logically and clearly this cite by the governor is disingenuous. The review of such concept altering legislation for three days after generations of existing definitions would not so damage same sex couples as to necessitate an avoidance of rules meant to ensure full review and discussion prior to any vote.”
So basically Wiggins says that Cuomo’s message of necessity created an legislative rush unnecessary because the discriminatory “definition” of marriage had already excluded LGBT families for over 200 years. But by this reasoning, Judge Wiggins would discourage elected officials from rushing to help stop any injustices perpetrated against tens of thousands of state citizens.
Why rush to repeal slavery or offer women legal protections? After all, those racist and misogynist institutions have existed for hundreds of years. Ummm…. no.
Image via basykes