It’s been over a year since New York’s Marriage Equality Act was enacted by Governor Cuomo. And, since then, numerous conservative groups across the state have attempted to strike the law down in court. But none have gotten as far as the New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom
– a group from Spencerport, NY, that seeks to defend “religious values” – and it doesn’t look as if any of them are getting much farther.
Yesterday, a New York state appeals court in Livingston County unanimously
struck down the group’s attempt to uproot the same-sex marriage law, reaffirming the right of homosexuals to get married in New York State. But the group didn’t use the common infringing-on-our-rights argument as their plea. Instead, they attacked the process it took to get the law passed – the conference hearings between Cuomo and the Senate – and the fact that they weren’t invited to the legislative party.
But, the court ruled
that these conference hearings, which are used in nearly every government deal for those who study Civics 101, were completely legal and in accordance with the State’s Open Meetings Law. That was the defense of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the man in charge of the state’s side in the case who vowed to “protect [homesexuals’] rights every day.”
Score one for social justice.
With the decision in hand, Jason McGuire, the reverend/executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom, might try to take another wack at the law by taking the case to the next (and final) level of appeals, the New York State Court of Appeals. But a unanimous decision at this stage is an omen for the group’s legal future.
And the whole ‘not being invited to the legislative party’ spiel? This plea revolved around a meeting between Cuomo and Bloomberg that happened right before the bill was passed; a meeting that the NYCF deemed illegal under the Open Meetings Law, which requires all officials to conduct public business in the public sphere. But the court ruled that the group simply couldn’t strike down the entire legislative process as null simply because the Governor of New York met with the Mayor of New York City.
But, something about that line makes us think that the defense had nothing really to do with that meeting at all… especially after reading this line on the group’s website: “As a Christian ministry, NYCF exists to influence legislation and legislators for the Lord Jesus Christ.”