03 December, 2009

New York State makes historic statement AGAINST equality

Yesterday, the New York State legislature made an historic statement against providing equality to its citizens: the New York State Senate voted 38 against, 24 in favor of a bill that would equalize the playing field and legalize same-sex marriages in the state.

Guess what folks? There are only 30 Republican Senators in the New York State Senate (all of whom, unfortunately, voted against the bill). That means that eight (8) Democratic New York State Senators voted against the bill.

What surprised many (but not this jaded) LGBTQ activists was the wide margin by which the marriage equality bill was defeated.

According to the Albany Times-Union blog, this is the official roll call for the vote:

YES: 24
NO: 38


Since New York State legislators, almost all of whom are married (and certainly all of whom voted against this measure are married) find it unconscionable to confer marriage equality to all adult couples regardless of gender, (those opposed do so mostly based on their religious beliefs), I find it unconscionable that politicians are allowing religion to dictate a denial of equality under the law to all individuals.

I'm not going to get into the whole legal argument here as I've done that before, more than once.

As such, I propose the following:

Just as these Senators and politicians have been saying all along, the state has no business granting same-sex couples marriages; I would take that a step further:

The state has no business granting marriage licenses, period. If marriage is a religious institution, then the state should not be involved in or use words similar in effect to what is commonly held by the populace to be a religious institution.

The state has no business nor should it have any business conferring benefits or instilling requirements to the millions of couples who wish to coexist together.

The United States federal governmnet, at least count in 2004, has a sum total of one thousand one hundred and thirty eight laws (1138 laws) under the United States Code alone that deal with marital status or wherein martial status is a factor for such law.

That's really a lot of code that's been written solely about a religious institution — something that the state has absolutely no business poking its nose into as the state should not be interfering with religious organizations and the institutions that they instill into our society.

As such, I call upon all of my legislators to introduce legislation into their respective bodies of government putting an end to this state-sponsored religious practice of marrying couples.

If a couple wants to get married, let them do it in their churches, temples, and synagogues, where marriage rightly belongs. If couples want benefits from the state, then the state needs to first figure out, first, if it should even be in the business of conferring benefits on people who choose to coexist together and then—and only then—should it then seek to determine via what non-religious method such benefits, requirements, responsibilities, etc. should be conferred upon such couples.

I hope you will all join with me in calling upon your respective legislatures and requesting that they enact similar legislation.

It is my sincere hope that in the very near future, this will no longer be an issue for anyone in this nation.

And if you think I'm crazy or far-out with this idea, just look at how well it's worked in the United Kingdom. People get married in churches over there, and the state confers certain benefits and responsibilities upon couples via a civil ceremony that is in no way shape or form referred to as a marriage.

So let's get the government out of the business of being a religion, and end the practice of state-sanctioned marriage. If you listen to Senator Diane J. Savino's speech in favor of passage of the marriage equality legislation that the New York State Senate failed to ratify yesterday, perhaps you'll understand why: