Thursday, July 06, 2006

NYS Decision Involves Prejudicial Rationale

The NYS Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, has ruled that same-sex couples are not guaranteed the right to marriage under the state's constitution.

While the ruling may be legally sound in regards to the language in the state's founding document, in their decision the justices on the Court of Appeals made statements that were prejudicial and hurtful to gay and lesbian New Yorkers.

In explaining their ruling, they stated that same-sex couples can be denied the right to marriage because homosexual sex does not have a "natural tendency to lead to the birth of children." They also stated that the legislature is making a rational choice to deny same-sex couples marriage rights, because heterosexuals relationships "promote stability" for children.

How absurd! Sitting in the US Supreme Court during the oral arguments of Lawrence V. Texas, I heard the lawyer from Texas defending sodomy laws in that state using the same reasoning that the NYS Court of Appeals has found rational today. The Supreme Court found those arguments do not hold water.

Now that it is very clear that the majority of New Yorkers support equal marriage rights (based on an April poll), the legislature must act to make marriage legal for same-sex couples.

I also suggest that a strong statement be issued by New York's leaders to defuse the ignorant beliefs that the Court of Appeals is helping to foster in the state.

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