Fiery Protests But Still No Vote on Same-Sex Marriage

Monday, June 20, 2011

As the last day of the legislative session came to a close in Albany on Monday, there was still no vote in sight on the same-sex marriage bill — one vote shy of becoming law — that, after four days of closed-door sessions, is still languishing in the Republican-led Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver emerged from Governor Andrew Cuomo's office Monday and said the vote — if it happens — would happen later in the week. 

Skelos said the dispute over religious exemption language in the bill continued to be a thorn for Republicans who want to see stronger carve-outs.    

"We have staff people and members discussing with the governor religious protections," Skelos said.

In the event legislators decide not to return Tuesday, Cuomo can call an "extraordinary session" to force them to gavel back in for the rest of the week.  

Meanwhile, hundreds of demonstrators on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate descended upon the capital. The protestors filled the steamy Senate hallways, chanting, singing hymns and toting banners as sweat gleaming on their faces and, at times, tempers openly clashes.

State police officers escorted Republican Senators weaving through the mass to get to conference.  

"In this country, isn’t it great that two opposite sides can stand here and express different opinions?" said Carol Trzcinkski of Brooklyn, who supports the same-sex marriage bill. "We can all sing the same songs because we believe in love. We believe in kindness, do unto others as you would do unto you."

Reverend George Burkinshaw of Elbridge, NY scoffed at her remarks: "They have every right to be free and speak their mind," he said. "They have no right to plagiarize the word of God. They shouldn’t be singing religious music."

Down the hallway, rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in Manhattan said religion should not play a role in the debate because the bill doesn't govern religious marriage ceremonies.  

"This is about the right of people to get a civil marriage license," Kleinbaum said.  "What people choose to do in their religious community is a completely different issue."

Advocates against same-sex marriage produced their first professional athlete to rally support for their cause: New York Giants star David Tyree told crowds he wasn't a political person but felt the issue was too important to ignore.

"Marriage is an honorable estate, not created by government, but founded in nature and in nature's God," said Tyree.

Lobbyists against the bill say the state legislature shouldn’t be deciding the issue for New Yorkers – instead, they proposed a referendum to let the people decide for themselves.


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Comments [18]

bill d

imagine if you will having the choice to fly 2 airlines airline brand x is 40 times more likely to have mechanical problems and if it does is 80 times more likely to crash.I sure as hell would not fly that airline.Well according to the cdc gay males are 40 times more likely to be HIVpositive and those that are are 80 times more likely to develop anal cancer.The cdc study was done in 2005.The last time I looked the cdc was not part of any christian church.So all you "gay pride" advocates can say "bigot","homophobe" or whatever you want.But the facts speak for themselves.I will accept your juvenile name calling,if you can dispute the cdc facts.And the fact of the matter is putting 2 pieces of your critical antatomy into human excrement is not deserving of the sacred or legal rights of marriage.It's more deserving of a visit to psychiatrist!!!

Jun. 29 2011 01:34 AM
RXN from Queens

The real harm is that gay marriage unhinges sex from procreation. By doing so, this trivializes and degrades the institution of marriage. Stanley Kurtz studied this and found that, in Scandanavia, an increase in children born out of wedlock followed gay marriage. This harms children, because the parents can more easily leave the relationship (w/o marriage) and leave the child w/o support.

And the out of wedlock birthrate in the US has increased with the advent of gay marriage.

It hurts children, and it has no link to procreation. It's unnatural.

Jun. 21 2011 05:21 PM
Maaza from Johannesburg, South Africa

This is not just about atheists. I think we should keep appealing to believers. The Nobel Peace Prize Winner Desmond Tutu, when he was Archbishop of Cape Town, said: “If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn't worship that God.”

Jun. 21 2011 12:58 PM
Elizabeth Burke from Manhattan

@mik and @ Jay apparently, you equate 2 people of the same sex loving each other with bestiality. Therefore, your thoughts are not to be considered. Just say you do not like gay people and at least be honest. You are both tired and sad and full of hate. Do you really believe the nonsense you spew? Look around you, gay people are everywhere, in the grocery store, your job, your sports teams, your church, your clubs, your relatives(!) yet I bet you have never seen any of them screwing the family dog. Stop your hatred and open your mind. But I understand low intelligence might be a problem.

Jun. 21 2011 12:19 PM
Charles Harris from Island Heights NJ

Governmments should get out of the "marriage" business
Governments should license "Civil Unions" and its legal privileges and obligations. Those who want to be "Married" go to their respective religious or other organizations for that title.

Jun. 21 2011 12:07 PM
Julie from NY

@Mik - ugly argument. We're talking about two consenting adults. Keep your disgusting thoughts to yourself. You're no better than I am.

Jun. 21 2011 11:29 AM
Julie from NY

Why is your religion so threatened by this issue? Is your god so vengeful that you worry he might take it out on you? Please note that atheism is 3rd behind Christianity and Islam in the world. That's over a billion of us that would like you to back off. We've been trying hard to progress through the years, yet you want to retard progress. We can't let you drag us back to the dark ages.
Atheists - speak up!

Jun. 21 2011 11:27 AM
Mik from Long Island, NY

If we legalize same sex marriage, why not also legalize incestuous relationships, such as father-daughter, brother-sister, etc. How about multiple person marriage? Why not have three, four or more people enter into a union? And if we really want to stretch the envelope, what about bestiality? Is there any reason to draw a line somewhere in this progression, and if yes, where?

Jun. 21 2011 10:50 AM
Arturo from New York

It is a travesty and a violation of the basic tenets of the American Constitution that Government is endorsing one religious view over another when it comes to issuing marriage licenses.

A same-sex couple who exchange their vows in a Unitarian Church, a Quaker Meeting, or a Reformed Synagogue should not be denied the legal benefits of civil marriage because more powerful or strident religions have successfully bullied or intimidated elected officials. That is basically is what has been happening over the past 15 years. That is what is happening now in the halls of the New York State legislature. I hope one Republican has the courage and vision to stand up to this bigotry thinly disguised as religous objection and do what's right.

Oh, and to the Jay the Homophobe, homosexuality, bisexality, and transgenderism has been documented in HUNDREDS of species from moths to elephants to penguins. Your use of the phrase "scientific history on homosexuality" is laughable since you clearly do not have the slightest clue about the science of human sexuality. The leading SCIENTIFIC view on sexual orientation is that it is a complex system (e.g. human consciousness, the stock market, the atmosphere, etc.) involving the interplay of genetic, hormonal, psychological, and sensory factors and that a person's sexual orientation is pretty much set by the age of four.

Because of the complexity of the factors involved it is impossible to predict what the outcome will be for any given child. The key is that someone's sexual orientation, be it heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual is not CHOSEN. However, how they act on that sexuality and what sexual identity they embrace certainly are.

Jay, take the bigoted plank out of your own eye and carefully examine the hate in your heart. Why does it exist? What is feeding it? You might be surprised by the answer...

Jun. 21 2011 10:43 AM
Maaza from Johannesburg, South Africa

Love the show! I have often wondered how/why preventing two consenting adults from getting married to each other could be such a priority when there are so many more disturbing and important things happening in the world. I still don’t really understand the arguments but appreciate that the show is exploring the question. I am thrilled to live in a country where same sex marriage has been legal since 2006, thanks to the efforts of freedom fighters, including Nelson Mandela. Many South African gay couples are legally married and the constitution is very protective of all human rights. Sadly, that doesn’t always prevent all discrimination - but at least the laws are in place.

Jun. 21 2011 10:41 AM
joyfactor from Soho

Marriage is a religious sacrament within a certain subset of religions. Government and religion are separate institutions: let's keep them that way.

Any 2 adults should be able to benefit from legal union in the same way without religious language entering the discussion.

Jun. 21 2011 10:25 AM
Lawrence H. McFarland from Carmel, NY

To Jefferies and Lehrer: 1st Amendment didn't help Methodists in Ocean Grove, NJ who were forced by state of NJ to allow queer "marriage." Too bad host and guest didn't address overthrown of 1st Amendment.

Jun. 21 2011 09:53 AM

How can religious groups that practice such blatant discrimination, fear mongering and bigotry be considered any different from groups like the KKK? In the US, we protect the freedom of belief, even for hate-groups, and of course we should continue to do so, but I do not understand why politicians and the media treat the homophobic intrusion of religion into civil affairs so kindly. We all should be able to spot an evil idea when we see one and call it that. Bigotry has no place in the political discourse of a decent society, and we must not let ourselves be fooled into thinking the perpetuation of hate is somehow sensible just because the bigot espousing those ideas happens to be a priest and not a clansman. What's the saying? if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck... it must be a duck. Why not call a bigot a bigot? It is a true shame to have given credence to such persons in this debate.

Jun. 20 2011 10:49 PM
Gary Brubaker from Oxford, UK, formerly of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

Being a gay man with little desire to subscribe towards beliefs that have been used to justify genocide, torture and wars that inevitably cause collateral damage I must remind those that hold themselves to these books need not worry about the prospect of most same-sex couples. There should be no rules for these cults to be forced to perform wedding ceremonies unless their place of worship permits the same-sex 'wedding' ceremony.

What every person in New York State must do in order to be married is to obtain a license from the local registrar. That document is not printed nor available in a place of worship. It is a state-issued document.

So deal with your objections within the confines of your cult and do what their tax-free havens want to do, and remove this sad side of oppression and ignorance. We don't want nor need your approval of our private lives, as we do with yours.

Equality is something that common sense directs us to rise above and let freedom occur.

Jun. 20 2011 10:38 PM
Mark Lewis from Caledonia

Jay, due to the fact that you live in a tunnel, doesn't mean that the rest of the world does. You are a dinosaur that is slowly dying away. (Thank God) You also know nothing about humanity. I feel sorry for people like you who don't think you know anyone that is gay. Trust me, everyone knows and loves someone who is gay. You, my dear homophobe, stand alone!

Jun. 20 2011 09:45 PM
Jessica Naomi from NY

You left out the part of the story where an Orthodox Rabbi spit on Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum & spat, "You are not a Jew."

Jun. 20 2011 09:19 PM
Hi Jay, from Florida

Jay, wanna see real horror movie??? come to tea party event, those people are scary, carrying gun in public, screaming like a child with no future.
City with many gay people live in are far better economically. There have been run down cities that change and become great city, and those were done by gay people, Saugatuck MI, Wilton Manors FL......
We are happy people....that is why we are gay (gay means happy.......FYI if you dont know it)

Jun. 20 2011 07:20 PM
jay from NYC

First they distort all previous scientific history on homosexuality by presenting a psychiatrist who said people can be born homosexual.
They then legalize perverted sex.
Next they start making crude sex movies,parades, clubs etc, etc.
They then convinced certain states to marry them and the mlitary to accept them.
Now our children are being taught that homosexuality is normal and optional in our schools and all religions are being stomped on...It's really like some sort of horror movie.

Jun. 20 2011 06:55 PM

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