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N.Y. Assembly passes ‘gay marriage’

ALBANY, N.Y. (BP)–New York became only the second state in which a legislative chamber has voted to legalize “gay marriage,” as the state Assembly passed a measure by an 85-61 margin June 19 to allow homosexual couples to receive marriage licenses in the state.

The measure won’t have any immediate effect, though, because the leader of the Republican-dominated state Senate reiterated his opposition to the bill and said it would not come up for a vote in his chamber before the end of the annual legislative session.

Carrie Gordon Earll, senior director for issue analysis with Focus on the Family Action, told Baptist Press New York Assembly members are headed down the wrong road.

“Legalizing so-called ‘homosexual marriage’ promises that more New York children will be raised in homes without a mother or a father,” Earll said June 20. “Decades of social science research finds that children do best in a home with a married mother and father. Of course, not all family situations turn out that way for any number of reasons.

“However, the research finds a mom and a dad is the ideal home arrangement for children, and that’s what public policy should promote,” Earll said. “The needs of kids should trump the wants of adults. Kids need both a mom and a dad in the home. Homosexual couples are intentionally missing one of these elements.”

Manhattan Democrat Daniel O’Donnell, the openly homosexual brother of television personality Rosie O’Donnell, proposed the legislation in April along with New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. In 2005, both houses of the California legislature passed a “gay marriage” bill, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it.

In Albany, New York’s capital, Republican Teresa Sayward delivered an emotional plea for Assembly members to support the bill during a three-hour debate on the issue Tuesday night, according to the Associated Press. Sayward relayed the struggles faced by her homosexual son, who grew up wanting “to be normal.”

Democrat Dov Hikind, an Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn, spoke out against the measure because he thought it could open doors to special treatment for other deviant behaviors.

“Maybe we should include incest in the bill and sort of deal with the whole package at one time,” Hikind said, according to AP.

When the voting ended, Democrat Matthew Titone, another openly homosexual member of the Assembly, held up his cell phone.

“I have my partner here on the phone and he just asked me to marry him. My answer, Madam Speaker, is yes,” Titone said to a round of applause.

AP reported that New York residents are divided over the issue of “gay marriage,” pointing to a Quinnipiac University poll released the day of the vote which found 35 percent of registered voters supported “gay marriage” while another 35 percent supported civil unions but not “gay marriage.” Twenty-two percent of voters said there should be no legal recognition of same-sex unions, AP said.

Before the Assembly vote on “gay marriage,” the state’s Roman Catholic bishops issued a statement saying “marriage is not some political term of art that can be re-imagined or redefined according to the whims of popular culture.”

Spitzer, the governor, said in a speech last fall to the Empire State Pride Agenda, a homosexual activist group, that “gay marriage” should be legal in New York.

“No New Yorker should be deprived of the right to marry the person of their choice, regardless of gender,” Spitzer, a Democrat, said. “This is not about forcing any religion to perform or recognize gay marriage. It’s simply about permitting gay and lesbian couples the right to live in stable, long-term married relationships.”

Homosexual couples are allowed to receive marriage licenses only in the state of Massachusetts, where the practice was made legal in 2003 through a court decision.

“The best public policy New York can adopt is to encourage one-man,
one-woman marriage and take steps to keep marriages together,” Earll, of Focus on the Family Action, said. “Homosexual activists will not stop until they have redefined marriage and we cannot allow that to happen.”

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  • Erin Roach