|Gay marriage legalised in New York - the last Stonewall|
At 11:55 pm, 24 June 2011, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed gay marriage into law after the Republican controlled senate voted 33-29 supporting gay marriage. The success was in large part due to his determination to see this as a lasting legacy. It was at "the heart of leadership and progressive Government" said Cuomo. The deal had an uphill battle facing a strong opposition from the Catholic Church, and a fearful Republican party of backlash from rural conservative voters. Cuomo had assembled a lobbying team, financial backers with libertarian views, and merged the gay right advocates often competing/self destructive into a coalition called "New Yorkers United for Marriage". Cuomo was determined even to support the Republican Senators if there was a backlash because of their support of gay marriage, for example, Senator Alesi who became the first Republican to support marriage equality.
Crossing the political divide to vote for gay marriage was Republican Senator Mark Gristani who spoke what was the heartfelt conclusions of many:-
"Tonight, I joined my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to legalize same sex marriage in New York State. Since I began my term as Senator I have met with many people on both sides of this issue, read numerous documents and independent studies. Given the high stakes, I felt I owed it to everyone to make a well-informed decision. I have come to believe that all New Yorkers should be entitled to the same 1324 rights that come with a civil marriage. As an attorney I analyzed the legislation and concluded that the amendments provide critical exemptions for religious institutions. Passage of this bill now rather than later ensures that these protections be included. I cannot deny anyone in my district and across New York the same rights I have with my wife," said Grisanti
President Obama has subtly weighed into the debate by ealier commenting during a New York fund raising event that:-
"I believe that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every couple in this country," Obama said.
The gay marriage legalization has a major impact on the rest of the States as
a) New York is the nation third most populous state
b) New York has no residency requirements for obtaining a marriage license unlike other states such as Massachusetts.
c) It is only the third state that gay marriage has been legalized through legislations and not through the courts
The legalization of Gay marriage continued on a momentum that has been lost two years ago with the voiding gay marriage through the ballot success of Proposition 8 in California. It started with the
- Success of the fedeal law suit challenging the Federal constitutionality of Prop 8 which resulted in the Overturn of Prop 8 on Aug 4, 2010, with the stay of ruling pending appeal. However the legal standing of the anti-gay folks to appeal is doubtful.
- The repeal of the Dont Ask Dont tell law against gays serving in the US Armed forces on 18 Dec 2010 through the US Senate vote (65-31 final vote)
- The ruling against Prop 8 was upheld on June 14, 2011, when the Christian Right tried to disqualify the judge and the earlier judgement because Judge Walker was gay. This seemed to be a last ditch effort by the Christian Right as their standing to repeal the judge decision is arguable.
Hence, in the course of the last 10 months, the stream of losses for gay marriage proponents seems a distant memory. The victory for the gay marriage in New York is almost to the anniversarry of the Stonewall riots in 28 June 1969 where gays rioted after Police brutality sparked a push for the basic civil rights to repeal the anti-gay laws. We are reminded that Christian groups such as MCC has since 1968 been the impetus for a push for gay rights based on the Christian principles of love and social justice.
The light for basic justice and equality was sparked more than 42 years ago, and four decades later, we have another Stonewall event that will cause a Tsunami for gay marriage rights throughout the states. Gay marriage in California may only be months away from resumption if the anti-gay activist cannot find a good reason to have legal standing for a repeal.
There is a place in God's sovereign hand and move, where justice being blocked will finally overflow breaking the dam stopping it, and once it does, it will come crashing down with such intensity and speed to surprise many even the most disheartened. It can only get better.
We have God's grace and mercy because of Jesus Christ.God is moving in, and no one can stop it even the Christian Right and the Catholics, for we are reminded by Amos, the promise of God whose heart is for justice and righteousness:-
(Amos 5:23 NKJV) Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.
(Amos 5:24 NKJV) But let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream.
God's heart rejoices today, and Jesus was seemingly there with the crowds celebrating this early morning in New York. Our hearts shout for joy as justice is beginning to run down river, and the cause of righteousness doing what is morally and blibically right is flowing like a mighty stream that will not be quenched.
Open the floodgates.