Friday, July 07, 2006

Gay marriage nixed by state's high court

My, my, how the chorus changes when the melody turns. Suddenly the rabid supporters of Judicial fiat rend their garments as NYS' arm of the Judiciarium acts like a court!

NYS' court of appeals declined to redefine an institution that predates every known civilization.

Of course, behold how the Reasonable mouth-foamers for Absolute Individualism and the Gay Collective frame the issue: "Gay marriage nixed by state's high court" sayz this headline from the Journal News.

Take a closer look:
Gay-marriage supporters vowed to take their fight to state lawmakers yesterday after New York's top court ruled that the state's constitution provides no right to marriage for gays and lesbians.

In a 4-2 decision, the Court of Appeals said gay marriage was not a question for state courts but the state Legislature.

Judge Robert Smith wrote for the court: "We hold that the New York Constitution does not compel recognition of marriages between members of the same sex. Whether such marriages should be recognized is a question to be addressed by the Legislature."

However, the judges did not leave it at that. They found that the limitation on marriage was consistent with the state's constitution, that it did not deprive gays and lesbians of their rights to equal protection under the law and that the Legislature had a "common-sense" rationale for promoting only opposite-sex marriages.

And they rejected arguments that a ban on gay marriages was akin to a ban on interracial marriages decades ago.

"By limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples, New York is not engaging in sex discrimination," Smith wrote.

Several of the gay couples who filed suit gathered at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Manhattan with their legal representatives and civil-rights groups to condemn the decision.

"It's a sad day in New York," said Susan Sommer, senior counsel at Lambda Legal and the lead attorney in one of the lawsuits. "The New York Court of Appeals turned its back on these families."

Smith was joined in his opinion by fellow conservative judge Susan Read and the most liberal member, George Bundy Smith. Judge Victoria Graffeo, another conservative, joined in the ruling but issued a separate, concurring opinion.

Chief Judge Judith Kaye and Carmen Ciparick strongly disagreed with the majority. Writing for the dissenters, Kaye said: "This state has a proud tradition of affording equal rights to all New Yorkers. Sadly, the court today retreats from that proud tradition."

Further, Kaye chided her colleagues for essentially misunderstanding the case, using the wrong analysis and employing "circular reasoning."

Departing from her colleagues, Kaye said that marriage is a fundamental right and added: "Simply put, fundamental rights are fundamental rights. They are not defined in terms of who is entitled to exercise them."

Judge Albert Rosenblatt, whose daughter has advocated for gay and lesbian couples in California, had recused himself from the case.

The decision combined four lawsuits from around the state involving 44 gay and lesbian couples who had been denied marriage licenses — including Heather McDonnell and Carol Snyder of White Plains, and Sylvia Samuels and Diane Gallagher of Mount Vernon. It upheld the decisions by mid-level courts and an analysis by Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who has said the state's domestic-relations law does not provide for gay marriage. Gov. George Pataki's Health Department also had refused to grant marriage licenses for gays and lesbians.

New York is not the only state wrestling with the issue. Georgia's top court yesterday reinstated the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage. Top courts in New Jersey and Washington are deliberating similar cases. At the moment, Massachusetts is the only state where courts have ruled to legalize gay marriage.

The New York ruling was devastating to gay-marriage supporters who had hoped the court would step in where the Legislature hasn't.

"Today is a shameful day in New York state's history," said Sen. Tom Duane, D-Manhattan, the lone openly gay state senator and sponsor of a bill to authorize gay marriage. "Instead of a moral, legal and constitutional victory, the (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) community now faces a dragged-out political street brawl in the state Senate and Assembly. That is a shame. It did not have to be this way."
Yes, it's such a crying shame. The people of the state of NY must now consider a monumental change to their way of life through the branch of government responsible for legislating laws. The elected representatives of voters must now pass--or deny--laws that transform in institution of marriage in the state. O the humanity!

Of course, the sophistry surrounding the latest prize of the Gay Rights movement exceeds all bounds:
Yonkers resident Michael Sabatino, 55, was not one of the lawsuits' litigants, but he spoke at a pro-same-sex marriage rally last night in White Plains, one of seven in New York.

"It's very devastating, and it's not only the decision. It's what they said in the decision, that we can't procreate. That is not true," Sabatino said earlier in the day. "The reality is we do procreate and we do have children and we do have families."
Gay couples can now procreate? Wow! The lifestyle that by definition excludes the conception of children can now contradict its very nature! Those that practice homosexuality, and demand the State equate their relationships with married couples, now claim they can conceive children. Mr. Sabatino might want to put down the kool-aid for a moment.

Not that this will surprise anyone, but Reasonable journalist Yancey Roy distorts the record on how the Catholic Church treated Mr. Sabatino and his partner. Here's Mr. Roy's account:
Sabatino was married to Robert Voorheis in Canada in 2003. Shortly afterward, they were asked to leave their Roman Catholic parish when the marriage received media attention.
Here's what really happened:
A Catholic pastor ordered two men out of the choir because they went public with their gay wedding, the men said. Michael Sabatino Jr., who has sung in the choir for 32 years, said he and his partner, Robert Voorheis, were confronted Oct. 19 by Monsignor Edmund Whalen as they entered St. Benedict’s Church in the Bronx. Between Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, the Yonkers men had been profiled on the front page of the Journal News, featured in an article on gay marriage on and married in a United Church of Canada ceremony in Ontario that was announced in the New York Times. Whalen “told us he couldn’t have us in a public ministry after going public in the newspapers,” Sabatino told the Journal News. “He said, ‘I have parishioners who are complaining.’” Whalen referred questions to Joseph Zwilling, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of New York, who said, “I don’t know these individuals or the specifics of their circumstances, but in the church, if … there would be a possibility that the teachings of the church would be questioned … a pastor has not only the right but the obligation to act.”
Mr. Roy appears to be under the impression that membership in a choir is mandatory for Catholics in good standing. I guess I've never been part of any parish that I've lived within, then; I've never been a part of any choir.

A pastor of a Catholic Church refused to allow two Catholics that had persisted in public scandal and grave sin from continuing to minister in the Church. What a Foolish decision. What a refreshing one! But to Mr. Roy and the Reasonable mouth-foamers for the collective, that pastor has unReasonably discriminated against these men. Therefore, it's alright to claim that the Catholic Church banned them from their parish. Any spin that helps a reasonable cause is clearly fair game.

The more the mouth-foamers rend their garments and condemn the courts for upholding Democracy, the more they'll alienate the Joe-and-Jane Six-pack contigent that fills the silent majority. Americans like fairness, not imperial dictates. If the Reasonable advocates of gay marriage truly believe in their cause, they shouldn't be ashamed to pursue its passage through the legislature.

But when did fairness ever enter into their plans for pushing the Agenda?