Opponents of Same Sex Marriage Plan Their Next Moves

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While the West Village erupted in celebration on Friday evening, not everyone was happy abut the passage of the Marriage Equality Act.

The Catholic Bishops of New York issued a joint statement on Friday condemning the vote, saying they were "deeply disappointed and troubled" by the passage of a bill that will "alter radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage."

"We strongly uphold the Catholic Church’s clear teaching that we always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love. But we just as strongly affirm that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman in a lifelong, loving union that is open to children, ordered for the good of those children and the spouses themselves. This definition cannot change, though we realize that our beliefs about the nature of marriage will continue to be ridiculed, and that some will even now attempt to enact government sanctions against churches and religious organizations that preach these timeless truths."

Bishop of Brooklyn Nicholas DiMarzio called the passage of the bill "mystifying", and said that the bill "deconstructed the single most important institution in human history."

In retaliation, he has called on Catholic Schools to refuse any distinction or honors bestowed on them by the governor or lawmakers who supported the legislation, and is asking that pastors and principals of those schools refrain from inviting any state legislator to speak or be present at any parish or school celebration.

"The above request is intended as a protest of the corrupt political process in New York State," DiMarzio said. "More than half of all New Yorkers oppose this legislation. Yet, the governor and the state legislature have demonized people of faith, whether they be Muslims, Jews, or Christians, and identified them as bigots and prejudiced, and voted in favor of same-sex 'marriage.' It is mystifying that this bill would be passed on the last day of an extended session under the cover of darkness."

Jann Armantrout, Coordinator of Life Issues at the Diocese of Rochester, said she was saddened by the passage of the bill, but not surprised.

"I had hoped critical thinking would have kept the bill from passing. I was pleased to see there were substantial protections for religious institutions, but I remain concerned about individuals who may not agree with this public policy and their execution of their responsibilities as time goes on," Armantrout said.

She cited as an example a judge who may not agree with gay marriage yet might be called to preside over one, or the owner of a venue who does not agree yet might be hired to host such a ceremony.

"There were good protections for religious entities, they did a good job on that, but what was not addressed is individual conscience protection."

She said it is too soon to discuss legal recourse, but that the diocese plans to continue to work on public policy issues.