NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

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NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby podbaydoor » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:06 pm UTC

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/18/nyreg ... &emc=tha29
After Talks With G.O.P., Cuomo Expects Passage of Gay Marriage Bill
By DANNY HAKIM and THOMAS KAPLAN
ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Friday that he expected same-sex marriage legislation to be approved before the end of the legislative session next week, and indicated that to win passage of the measure he is prepared to yield to Republican concerns for greater protections of religious groups.

“I am a proponent of marriage equality, and I’m working very hard to make that a reality in New York,” Mr. Cuomo told reporters on Friday as lawmakers prepared to go home for the weekend. “I am also a proponent of religious freedom, and separation of church and state, so these are both very important principles. I don’t see one in competition with the other.”

With signs pointing to a vote on the marriage issue in the State Senate next week, there are widespread expectations that it will pass. A number of Republicans are said to prefer that the matter not be allowed to come up for a vote, but 31 of the Senate’s 62 members have expressed support for the measure, including two Republicans.

Other Republican lawmakers appear to be seriously considering lending their support if Mr. Cuomo agrees to amend the proposal to give greater protection to religious organizations.

The State Assembly passed the same-sex marriage bill on Wednesday.

Talks between Mr. Cuomo and Republican senators are said to focus on a relatively narrow issue. The legislation proposed by the governor includes exemptions for religious organizations and affiliated charities or nonprofit groups to protect them from litigation if they refuse to host or provide services for same-sex weddings.

But Senate Republicans want further provisions to protect such organizations from any repercussions from state agencies, that might deny aid or benefits based on discrimination.

“There is a concern right now as to the unintended consequences of some of the religious clauses, carve-outs, protections,” said the Senate majority leader, Dean G. Skelos, a Long Island Republican.

“Governor Cuomo has been most gracious in terms of listening to some of these concerns,” Mr. Skelos added. “I think he’s doing the right thing by doing that, and those concerns will continue to be addressed.”

Senator Stephen M. Saland, a Hudson Valley Republican who is seen as one of the most likely tie-breaking votes, is one of the lead negotiators for the Senate Republicans over the marriage issue. Both the governor and the Republicans described negotiations as cordial and productive.

Mr. Cuomo did not address specific concerns in his comments to reporters, but said he was prepared to respond to the Senate’s concerns.

“They want to make sure that the line between church and state is intact and is clear, and that however the state defines marriage is the state’s business and it will not be imposed on a religion,” he said. “That is a very important point, and I am as equally concerned about that as I am in achieving marriage equality. That was the main — and that is the main — area of concern for the senators, Republicans senators. We’ve had good meetings. We’ve had good discussions. I believe we can address their concerns without going over the line.”

The exemptions Senate Republicans are seeking are similar to those in the same-sex marriage law in New Hampshire, a model that Senate Republicans have studied. Same-sex marriage advocates appear willing to agree to language changes to make a deal.

Ross D. Levi, the executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, said: “The states that have passed either marriage or civil unions have a range from either nothing — Iowa and Massachusetts have no religious exemptions — to very, very extensive, and I think what the governor is working on is finding that balance. And I agree that it’s appropriate to find that balance.”

Tensions over the religious implications of same-sex marriage legislation were heightened on Friday when Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, the state’s top Roman Catholic leader, called in to an Albany radio talk show to warn that the proposed legislation posed an “ominous threat” to society.

Archbishop Dolan, who had played a low-key role in the debate, was in Seattle on Friday, but dispatched Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of Brooklyn to Albany in a last-ditch effort to influence the Senate’s Republican majority. Nonetheless, Archbishop Dolan sounded somewhat pessimistic about the outcome.

“We’re realistic to know the forces pushing this are very strong,” he said on WGDJ-AM. “They’re well oiled. They’re well financed.”

However, he said: “It’s not a done deal. There is a good chance that this is not going to pass this year.”

Mr. Cuomo told reporters he believed that religious concerns should be separated from a debate over civil marriage. “I happen to be a Catholic, and that’s my business, and that’s my religion,” he said. “This has nothing to do with my beliefs as a Catholic. This is marriage in a civil context — marriage as defined by government, not by a religion.”

Likening the prohibition on same-sex marriage to earlier bans on interracial marriage, Mr. Cuomo said he was encouraged after talks with Republican lawmakers and confident that a marriage measure and his broader agenda would both be approved next week. “This state has a proud tradition and a proud legacy as the progressive capital of the nation,” he said in a hallway outside his office. “We led the way, and it’s time for New York to lead the way once again.”

The regular legislative session was scheduled to end on Monday, but it is expected to be extended further into next week.


This is frustrating. While I agree in principle that religious organizations - as part of separation of church and state - should be able to conduct themselves at their own discretion with respect to individuals they don't like. However, I've no doubt that many of the religious charities and organizations most likely receive state and federal funding...and they want to be exempted from discrimination laws even more strongly? Yeah, no.

This is a step forward and even a baby step for a Republican is a baby step, but all the caveats offend my sense of ethics and human rights.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Wodashin » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:20 pm UTC

Religious organizations receiving federal money.

Yeah...

Pretty sure that's false.

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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Ulc » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:24 pm UTC

Wodashin wrote:Religious organizations receiving federal money.

Yeah...

Pretty sure that's false.


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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby SummerGlauFan » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:31 pm UTC

Meh, I don't really see a problem with it. Any organization should have the right to host or not host a wedding for any reason they please.

To sum up the article, New York is likely to allow homosexual marriage while agreeing to not force anyone to perform a marriage against their will. How does this violate any kind of human rights again?
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby podbaydoor » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:33 pm UTC

@Wodashin: Faith-based initiatives? Ring any bells? Plenty of religious hospitals and charities receive federal and state funding.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Hous ... rtnerships
The initiative sought to strengthen faith-based and community organizations and expand their capacity to provide federally-funded social services, with the idea having been that these groups were well-situated to meet the needs of local individuals.

For fiscal year 2005, more than $2.2 billion in competitive social service grants were awarded to faith-based organizations. Between fiscal years 2003 and 2005, the total dollar amount of all grants awarded to FBOs increased by 21 percent.


@SummerGlauFan: the issue isn't with performing marriages, the issue is that religious charities and organizations want protection from being required to provide services to same-sex couples. The conflict here is that many of these orgs also receive public government funding.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Ulc » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:36 pm UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:Meh, I don't really see a problem with it. Any organization should have the right to host or not host a wedding for any reason they please.

To sum up the article, New York is likely to allow homosexual marriage while agreeing to not force anyone to perform a marriage against their will. How does this violate any kind of human rights again?


It doesn't.

If the organization doesn't receive state funding there is no problem at all. But along with a state funding something, there comes a (or should come at least) requirement along the lines of "don't use the citizens money to discriminate citizens, if you do so, you're a douchebag"

And churches generally get a lot of money.

It's a small (and good) step in the right direction to be sure though.

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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby SummerGlauFan » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:39 pm UTC

article wrote:
Talks between Mr. Cuomo and Republican senators are said to focus on a relatively narrow issue. The legislation proposed by the governor includes exemptions for religious organizations and affiliated charities or nonprofit groups to protect them from litigation if they refuse to host or provide services for same-sex weddings.



Nah, they just want to be forced to do something for the wedding itself, which I am frankly fine with. Now, if it was something like a charity refusing to provide housing aid to a same-sex couple, that's different.

Edit: as an example, many churches won't provide a wedding if neither person being married is a member of the church. Should the government force them to provide weddings to non members? If not, then why force them to provide weddings to anyone?
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:46 pm UTC

Question on faith based initiative concerns.

Do they amount to funding certain programs through churches, or giving churches money based on a perception of their public good? If its the first, then this shouldn't be a problem.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby podbaydoor » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:51 pm UTC

@SummerGlauFan:
But Senate Republicans want further provisions to protect such organizations from any repercussions from state agencies, that might deny aid or benefits based on discrimination.

I think this means they want to extend the protection out to general benefits, not just weddings.

@mmmcannibalism: I believe the faith-based initiative was founded for the second reason. The idea is that faith-based organizations have "local roots" so they deserve government funding. Take note, one of the former heads of the initiative once disparaged pagan-based organizations for inclusion in the program, implying that pagans lack compassion and would only apply for funding for purposes of proselytization. There is clear bias.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Tirian » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:07 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:@SummerGlauFan: the issue isn't with performing marriages, the issue is that religious charities and organizations want protection from being required to provide services to same-sex couples. The conflict here is that many of these orgs also receive public government funding.


Let's be clear that we're talking about wedding-related services only. There is no question in NYS that if you have a marriage license that you are entitled to all of the rights and privileges of marriage. (Indeed, there are already same-sex couples in New York, the only hassle is that they have to travel out-of-state to get the license.) And even there the disagreements seem pretty minor. From what I'm reading, the bill clarifies that a florist can refuse to work for same-sex weddings but the holdouts also want to clarify that the state shouldn't be allowed to retaliate by canceling any state contracts with that florist. I'm a New Yorker and a huge fan of marriage equality and personally don't mind this caveat as long as it's the last one and not just legislators who have no intention of supporting a bill but instead will weigh it down with an unending series of increasingly irrelevant concerns.

Let me also say that Roy McDonald is the man. I have such respect for his point of view that his personal quibbles are no valid rationale to deny equal protection under the law, and dropping an f-bomb to underscore the injustice of further delays is the icing on the awesome cake.

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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby podbaydoor » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:17 pm UTC

Tirian, the wording in the article is ambiguous, but I took "provisions to protect such organizations from any repercussions from state agencies, that might deny aid or benefits based on discrimination" to indicate services that are not just wedding-related.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Tirian » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:29 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:Tirian, the wording in the article is ambiguous, but I took "provisions to protect such organizations from any repercussions from state agencies, that might deny aid or benefits based on discrimination" to indicate services that are not just wedding-related.


I agree that the article is ambiguous. I am adding in the fact that the state's highest court has already affirmed that denying the legal privileges of marriages to some couples with marriage licenses is unconstitutional. Nothing I've heard about this bill makes it sound like something that is giving it the right to whittle away at the Constitution and it's safe to assume that we would be hearing a lot more about the negotiations if it was (starting with the fact that the governor is remaining cheerful about the negotiations.)

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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby podbaydoor » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:02 pm UTC

Fair enough.

+100 points to Roy McDonald, also. Though some of the negative comments burning him in effigy just make me facepalm.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Aaeriele » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:56 pm UTC

Either way, I'd take something that would allow marriages even with some ambiguous wording - discrimination based on ambiguous wording can always be struck down in the courts later. It's generally easier to get a judge on the side of civil rights than a majority of a large congress.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Diadem » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:46 am UTC

On the other hand, the problem with getting laws almost right is that it will be a lot harder to fix them later.

If you fail to pass a law, you can try again in a few years. If you pass a law that is a vast improvement, but still not quite perfect, it will be very hard to improve it again later on, because it'll be very hard to motivate people over a tiny issue.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Manial » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:10 am UTC

Nonetheless, Archbishop Dolan sounded somewhat pessimistic about the outcome.

“We’re realistic to know the forces pushing this are very strong,” he said on WGDJ-AM. “They’re well oiled. They’re well financed.”
It's nice to know that the Archbishop is thinking of strong, rich, well oiled men.

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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby The EGE » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:27 pm UTC

Manial wrote:
Nonetheless, Archbishop Dolan sounded somewhat pessimistic about the outcome.

“We’re realistic to know the forces pushing this are very strong,” he said on WGDJ-AM. “They’re well oiled. They’re well financed.”
It's nice to know that the Archbishop is thinking of strong, rich, well oiled men.


Rockefeller?

/bad joke

I don't know what kind of delusional the Archbishop is, but how can he not realize that a) the LGBT rights movement, while not small, is neither politically dominant nor excessively rich and b) the conservative churches opposing marriage equality are.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Steroid » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:57 am UTC

The EGE wrote:I don't know what kind of delusional the Archbishop is, but how can he not realize that a) the LGBT rights movement, while not small, is neither politically dominant nor excessively rich and b) the conservative churches opposing marriage equality are.

Is that really so? The rich part does seem intuitive, though I wonder how much actual "fighting cash" is involved given that this issue is the current raison d'etre of the LBGT rights movement, while it's just one plank for conservative churches. OTOH, framing the debate as one of civil rights seems to put those in favor of gay marriage in a position of political dominance, while the political authority of religious figures has been increasingly marginalized in the media, education, and government over many years.

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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:18 am UTC

Don't make the mistake of thinking that churches and religious organizations aren't pouring money into this fight. Even in if a church has multiple issues they're focused on, they can easily create or support foundations that are focused exclusively on this particular issue. The article also mentions relentless pressure on Cuomo from religious lobbying groups over this bill, who have no doubt been in this game for years.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Jahoclave » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:00 am UTC

The EGE wrote:
Manial wrote:
Nonetheless, Archbishop Dolan sounded somewhat pessimistic about the outcome.

“We’re realistic to know the forces pushing this are very strong,” he said on WGDJ-AM. “They’re well oiled. They’re well financed.”
It's nice to know that the Archbishop is thinking of strong, rich, well oiled men.


Rockefeller?

/bad joke

I don't know what kind of delusional the Archbishop is, but how can he not realize that a) the LGBT rights movement, while not small, is neither politically dominant nor excessively rich and b) the conservative churches opposing marriage equality are.

But the empire state building refused to light itself according to Donohue's dictates, that clearly means the Catholic Church is "help, help, I'm being repressed!"

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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby achan1058 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:35 am UTC

Actually, why is the church allowed to perform weddings to start with? (I am guessing it's historical, but still.) I mean, it would be more logical if all weddings are required to be registered at the appropriate office, and then people can do whatever ceremony they choose to go along with it, with the ceremony being just a ceremony.

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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby buddy431 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:52 am UTC

achan1058 wrote:Actually, why is the church allowed to perform weddings to start with? (I am guessing it's historical, but still.) I mean, it would be more logical if all weddings are required to be registered at the appropriate office, and then people can do whatever ceremony they choose to go along with it, with the ceremony being just a ceremony.

France has something like that, where you must go through a civil ceremony first, and then an (optional) religious ceremony afterwords, that holds no legal weight. See this detailed guide aimed at Americans getting married in France. Looking at wikipedia's civil marriage page, it looks like a number of countries do this, including "France, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey, Argentina and Russia". In France, anyway, this tradition goes back to the French Revolution, and then Napoleon spread the practice throughout much of Europe, some nations of which still retain similar practices (again, according to the Wikipedia page).
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby SummerGlauFan » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:26 am UTC

IANAL (and I am also single, so double whammy on this topic), but aren't marriage ceremonies just that, ceremonial? You still have to get a marriage license through appropriate government channels.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Seraph » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:46 am UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:IANAL (and I am also single, so double whammy on this topic), but aren't marriage ceremonies just that, ceremonial? You still have to get a marriage license through appropriate government channels.

A marriage license, like just about any other license, is permission. Its the governments way of saying "You can get married if you want to". When I was married (in New York, so extra relevant to this discussion) my wife and I got our license well before we were married, then the priest who officiated our marriage signed it after and sent it in to the state to be filed. I believe the couple can also file the license if they wish, but in either case there is a 24hr waiting period between when you get the license and when you can file it (there is also a maximum limit of 60 days, so don't wait too long). Sometime shortly after the government gets the license the couple gets a marriage certificate, which is how the government says "yes, as far as we are concerned you are now married".

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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby buddy431 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:49 am UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:IANAL (and I am also single, so double whammy on this topic), but aren't marriage ceremonies just that, ceremonial? You still have to get a marriage license through appropriate government channels.


Marriage laws are confusing, especially in the U.S., where they vary state to state. Generally, in the U.S., you get a licence first, (present ID, prove your old spouse is dead, if applicable, get blood tests for syphilis, etc.). Some states then have a cooling off period of sorts, several days before you can have a ceremony. A ceremony is not optional - it can be performed by a religious figure (I'm not sure how a religious authority gets approved to conduct marriages - presumable there's some sort of paperwork they have to figure out), or certain civil servants, with some number of witnesses present. Then, you can sign a marriage licence (again, often a witness is required) and submit a copy to the appropriate government agency, upon which you are "legally married".

Then, of course, there are various common-law marriage statutes, again varying from state to state, where people can be considered legally married (maybe or maybe not with the full rights of those holding marriage certificates) even if they haven't gone through all the red tape. Generally, the couple have to consider themselves married (and be legally allowed to marry), and in some cases, have to have had at least some sort of ceremony, or be recognized as married by the community.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Tirian » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:09 am UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:IANAL (and I am also single, so double whammy on this topic), but aren't marriage ceremonies just that, ceremonial? You still have to get a marriage license through appropriate government channels.


Much of the ceremony is ceremonial, but the vows are the contract and the license is the proof from deputized officials and witnesses that the vows were taken. Of course, there is no reason that the deputized official needs to be a religious leader -- it could be a judge or in some places even a county clerk. It is similarly a canard that a minister would need additional legal protection to keep teh gay from forcing him to marry them. I don't even know why people seriously think they don't have a perfectly legal right of refusal already. :roll:

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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Cathy » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:20 am UTC

podbaydoor wrote:Don't make the mistake of thinking that churches and religious organizations aren't pouring money into this fight. Even in if a church has multiple issues they're focused on, they can easily create or support foundations that are focused exclusively on this particular issue. The article also mentions relentless pressure on Cuomo from religious lobbying groups over this bill, who have no doubt been in this game for years.


All I keep thinking about when I see the churches talking on this is "I wonder how involved the LDS church is." Not exactly the politest thing, but they did a huge amount of fund raising in California to get Prop 8 to pass. I think that *technically* churches aren't allowed to lobby but if the lobby group isn't *technically* connected to the church well then yeah sure that's ok. :? Disclaimer: IANAL.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby buddy431 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:40 am UTC

Tirian wrote:It is similarly a canard that a minister would need additional legal protection to keep teh gay from forcing him to marry them. I don't even know why people seriously think they don't have a perfectly legal right of refusal already. :roll:


It would be interesting if there was ever a case of a couple who were legally allowed to marry, but no one was willing to officiate. I bet the courts would step in and force someone to marry them, although that someone would probably be a judge, rather than force a clergyman to.

In fact, there are a couple cases where marriage officials (civil, not religious) have been forced to officiate same-sex weddings, even if it is against their personal beliefs. I found one such case in Canada, and it appears that there was something similar in Connecticut when the state supreme court upheld same-sex marriages in 2008.

If I was a clergyman opposed to same-sex marriages, I would appreciate some sort of assurance that I don't have to marry people I don't want to (currently that looks pretty safe: my understanding is that clergyman can legally refuse to marry any couple for pretty much any reason at all).

Edit: One place where it is typical to not be able to get married is Israel, where marriages are only conducted by religious authorities. If two people of different religions (or even secular couples who are not part of any religious community) wish to get married, they generally have to leave the country. I believe Cyprus is a popular place for this. Until recently, however, the state wouldn't even recognize foreign marriages when both partners were citizens of Israel, meaning that many Israeli couples who would could easily be married out of the country would not have their marriage recognized in Israel.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Aaeriele » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:52 am UTC

buddy431 wrote:In fact, there are a couple cases where marriage officials (civil, not religious) have been forced to officiate same-sex weddings, even if it is against their personal beliefs.

Er, no. They've been forced to issue marriage licenses, but that is not the same as officiating at more involved "ceremony" like a wedding.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Cathy » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:56 am UTC

Aaeriele wrote:Er, no. They've been forced to issue marriage licenses, but that is not the same as officiating at more involved "ceremony" like a wedding.

From my understanding, issuing a marriage license is purely paperwork. I agree with Aaeriele here, there's really no comparison to someone against gay marriage who works in a government office and a clergyman doing marriages.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby buddy431 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:58 am UTC

Aaeriele wrote:
buddy431 wrote:In fact, there are a couple cases where marriage officials (civil, not religious) have been forced to officiate same-sex weddings, even if it is against their personal beliefs.

Er, no. They've been forced to issue marriage licenses, but that is not the same as officiating at any real "ceremony" like a wedding.


I'm not real familiar with Canadian marriage law, but the Saskatchewan case from January this year sounds like civil marriage commissioners (the ones who actually conduct the ceremony during which vows are exchanged) are required to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies, even if they disagree with it, or lose their job. Can any Saskatchewanians confirm or clarify?
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Aaeriele » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:02 am UTC

If so, that would more be a matter of government employees being required to carry out government duties regardless of their personal beliefs.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Cathy » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:27 am UTC

buddy431 wrote:
Aaeriele wrote:
buddy431 wrote:In fact, there are a couple cases where marriage officials (civil, not religious) have been forced to officiate same-sex weddings, even if it is against their personal beliefs.

Er, no. They've been forced to issue marriage licenses, but that is not the same as officiating at any real "ceremony" like a wedding.


I'm not real familiar with Canadian marriage law, but the Saskatchewan case from January this year sounds like civil marriage commissioners (the ones who actually conduct the ceremony during which vows are exchanged) are required to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies, even if they disagree with it, or lose their job. Can any Saskatchewanians confirm or clarify?


I'm pretty sure that in the US there are protocols for this sort of thing -- for example, pharmacists can refuse to provide Plan B next-day contraception, but I'm pretty sure they have to forward you to a different pharmacist or have someone else at their pharmacy serve you. Same with with physicians and medical care -- they may not want to do the surgery but they have to give you to another doctor to take care of it. In this case, they would just pass you to another commissioner.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Ulc » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:38 am UTC

buddy431 wrote:In fact, there are a couple cases where marriage officials (civil, not religious) have been forced to officiate same-sex weddings, even if it is against their personal beliefs.


I utterly fail to see the problem with forcing government officials to perform government duties, regardless of their personal non-government religion, or be fired.

Forcing people that aren't affiliated with the government to perform ceremonies is a differently matter, which is why this bill has provisions to protect private people from being forced to perform a ceremony they disagree with. Of course, it's a bit of a illusion to say that the Christian church are not affiliated with the government in the case of the US, since they receive rather large amounts of money.

Though, my preferable option is actually that religious institutions shouldn't get "we bet you do good things for you community just by being there, here's a bag of money"-money at all.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby johnny_7713 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:13 am UTC

buddy431 wrote:
Aaeriele wrote:
buddy431 wrote:In fact, there are a couple cases where marriage officials (civil, not religious) have been forced to officiate same-sex weddings, even if it is against their personal beliefs.

Er, no. They've been forced to issue marriage licenses, but that is not the same as officiating at any real "ceremony" like a wedding.


I'm not real familiar with Canadian marriage law, but the Saskatchewan case from January this year sounds like civil marriage commissioners (the ones who actually conduct the ceremony during which vows are exchanged) are required to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies, even if they disagree with it, or lose their job. Can any Saskatchewanians confirm or clarify?


Its certainly true here in the Netherlands, one of the parties wanted to give commissioners the right to refuse to perform same-sex marriages but that motion was rejected. I understand the point of government employees being required to carry out government duties regardless of their personal beliefs, but I'm not sure why you would want to be married by someone who thinks your marriage is wrong. As long as the official's refusal to marry same-sex marriages doesn't impact your rights (i.e. there is a different official who is available on the same days)* I don't see why an anti-same-sex-marriage official should be forced to perform such a ceremony.

*Note that if for example s/he's the only official around and his / her refusal means you can only get a same-sex ceremony on the first Tuesday of each month, while different-sex ceremonies can be held on any weekday its a different story. The important thing is that the 'service' you receive from the government is equal, not how the government arranges for that service to be performed.

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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby achan1058 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:22 am UTC

Cathy wrote:
Aaeriele wrote:Er, no. They've been forced to issue marriage licenses, but that is not the same as officiating at more involved "ceremony" like a wedding.

From my understanding, issuing a marriage license is purely paperwork. I agree with Aaeriele here, there's really no comparison to someone against gay marriage who works in a government office and a clergyman doing marriages.
Indeed, and I am saying that clergymen should not be involved with marriage at all legally to start with, just like how it is so in many countries. That way, we can for whatever forcing to the government officials, and not need to do any forcing/protection to non-government related figures, not have people complaining about such forcing/protection.

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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:46 am UTC

johnny_7713 wrote:
buddy431 wrote:
Aaeriele wrote:
buddy431 wrote:In fact, there are a couple cases where marriage officials (civil, not religious) have been forced to officiate same-sex weddings, even if it is against their personal beliefs.

Er, no. They've been forced to issue marriage licenses, but that is not the same as officiating at any real "ceremony" like a wedding.


I'm not real familiar with Canadian marriage law, but the Saskatchewan case from January this year sounds like civil marriage commissioners (the ones who actually conduct the ceremony during which vows are exchanged) are required to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies, even if they disagree with it, or lose their job. Can any Saskatchewanians confirm or clarify?


Its certainly true here in the Netherlands, one of the parties wanted to give commissioners the right to refuse to perform same-sex marriages but that motion was rejected. I understand the point of government employees being required to carry out government duties regardless of their personal beliefs, but I'm not sure why you would want to be married by someone who thinks your marriage is wrong. As long as the official's refusal to marry same-sex marriages doesn't impact your rights (i.e. there is a different official who is available on the same days)* I don't see why an anti-same-sex-marriage official should be forced to perform such a ceremony.

*Note that if for example s/he's the only official around and his / her refusal means you can only get a same-sex ceremony on the first Tuesday of each month, while different-sex ceremonies can be held on any weekday its a different story. The important thing is that the 'service' you receive from the government is equal, not how the government arranges for that service to be performed.

I think the point is that it doesn't matter about whether or not the employee thinks it is wrong. They are a servant of the government and therefor my concern is that the government recognize my marriage. It's not like I just randomly want government servants to show up to my wedding. No, I want them to sign the damn certificate so that the government recognizes it.

And I don't think they, as government representatives should be able to opt out, because that's not equality under the law. They are the government, and the government, regardless of individual beliefs, has to treat all people as equal, regardless of sexuality. Allowing some government employee to opt out because they are a bigot is not government equality. That means, at least for that employee, that they are not giving equal governmental representation.

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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Ulc » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:04 am UTC

johnny_7713 wrote:I don't see why an anti-same-sex-marriage official should be forced to perform such a ceremony.


Because when he puts on his "I am officially a representative of your, lawfully elected by the citizens, government" he shouldn't express his own opinion at all. It's not his presence, nor his blessing, that is desired. It's the presence of the government, and it's recognition of the contract, that is desired.

What he thinks or says in his spare time is no concern of mine, but while on duty, he had better not deny a right that the government recognises that a citizen should have.
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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Hawknc » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:07 am UTC

Bear in mind that this only relates to people who are actually in the employ of, and represent, the government. I would expect that your local pastor could refuse to marry a same-sex couple if he wanted to. He'd be a douche, but he'd be legally protected.

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Re: NY Governor expects approval of Gay Marriage Bill

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:18 am UTC

Hawknc wrote:Bear in mind that this only relates to people who are actually in the employ of, and represent, the government. I would expect that your local pastor could refuse to marry a same-sex couple if he wanted to. He'd be a douche, but he'd be legally protected.

Can we call him something other than a douche. I just got back from one of those college bars rife with over-masculine morons and I don't particularly like the image of a priest with his baseball cap cocked at a ridiculous angle.


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