Ben Johnson

,

Lawsuit against New York’s homosexual ‘marriage’ law moves forward

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
Image

WASHINGTON, December 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A New York state judge has allowed a lawsuit that could overturn the state’s homosexual “marriage” law to move forward.

Acting State Supreme Court Justice Robert Wiggins ruled that the courts could decide whether Governor Andrew Cuomo violated a law requiring his meetings with Republicans in the state senate to be open to the public.

“There is no demonstration that the public welfare on this issue required secrecy,” Justice Wiggins wrote in his November 18 decision.

Join a Facebook page to defend marriage here

Cuomo secretly met with weary Republicans in the Governor’s Mansion in Albany on June 24, as they prepared to vote on the “Marriage Equality Act.” They locked out the public and press, and denied registered lobbyists access to politicians.

The plaintiffs contend that “at least two meetings” violate the 1976 New York Open Meetings Law, which requires that “public business be performed in an open and public manner.”

“We are contending that when the 32 Republicans met with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg and perhaps some others, it was a flagrant disregard for the intention of the law,” Rev. Jason J. McGuire told LifeSiteNews.com. Rev. McGuire is executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF), which filed the lawsuit.

McGuire told LifeSiteNews.com that as he attempted to attend one of the meetings, he found the sergeants-at-arms blocking the hallways to the Republicans’ chambers. “They said it was an issue of ‘safety and security,’” McGuire said, but “the only hallways blocked were Republican hallways.”

The act capped off a series of closed doors conferences that homosexual “marriage” supporters held to convince the GOP-controlled senate to schedule a vote on the bill. In May, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Christine Quinn, the speaker of the New York City council and a lesbian, lobbied Republican senators to support the act. Bloomberg held another meeting with Republicans on June 16.

While state law allows one-party meetings to occur in secret, Bloomberg is a registered independent, and Cuomo and Quinn are registered Democrats.

McGuire told LifeSiteNews.com, “In the new year, we’ll have an opportunity to present our argument” on the merits of the law. If a judge agrees, the same-sex “marriage” law could be overturned. “We’ve asked for nullification and that’s ultimately where this could lead,” he said.

Rena Lindevaldsen of Liberty Counsel, which is representing NYCF, says the lawsuit is acting “as a check on an out-of-control political process that was willing to pass a bill regardless of how many laws and rules it violated.”

In his decision, while allowing the lawsuit to move forward, Justice Wiggins had reluctantly dismissed some of the claims of the plaintiffs.

One of these related to New York law that requires pending legislation to be made public for three days before passage. On June 24, Governor Cuomo overridden that law by issuing a “message of necessity” to pass the bill. Wiggins ruled that since the senate accepted the measure, he lacked jurisdiction to rule on it. But the judge wrote that Cuomo’s “disregard for the statute seems evident.”

The plaintiffs also charged politicians with establishing an implied quid pro quo, exchanging votes for campaign cash. They state that in his June 16 meeting with Republicans, Mayor Bloomberg offered to financially support any Republican who backed the marriage bill and to help the opponent of anyone who opposed it. Four Republican state senators promptly changed their votes: James Alesi, Mark Grisanti, Roy McDonald, and Stephen Saland.

The “Marriage Equality Act” subsequently passed after the Assembly approved it by a vote of 80-63, and the Republican-controlled state senate voted to pass it 33-29. The law took effect on July 24. The next day, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms filed the lawsuit.

Shortly after the vote, Bloomberg contributed the maximum amount allowed by law, $10,300, to all four Republican senators who changed their vote in favor of the law. Bloomberg and powerful homosexual activist Tim Gill threw a $1.2 million fundraiser for the four in October. They also donated a hefty sum to the Republican Senate campaign committee for agreeing to hold the vote.

But while the four Republicans have Bloomberg’s support, they have also made some determined enemies with their votes. Shaun Marie, executive director of the Conservative Party of New York State, told LifeSiteNews.com the state party “will not endorse anybody” that voted for the bill and that the party is “actively recruiting” candidates to run against the wayward Republicans in 2012.

Any effort to overturn the law can’t come too soon for Christians in the state concerned that their religious liberty is already being encroached upon since the bill passed. At least four New York clerks have either resigned rather than sign marriage licenses for homosexual couples, or are fighting heavy pressure to sign the licenses against their consciences.

McGuire fears churches may soon come under fire for abiding by their traditional stance on moral and ethical issues. He said the law’s “religious liberty” clause is “extremely weak.”

McGuire plans to present his case in state court in 2012. Whatever the decision, he anticipates a long legal battle.

FREE pro-life and pro-family news.

Stay up-to-date on the issues you care about the most. Subscribe today. 

Select Your Edition:


Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Lisa Bourne

,

Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
Image
Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

Advertisement
Featured Image
Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

, ,

Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

The Editors
By

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

, ,

Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook