NEW YORK, July 18, 2011 ( – A pro-family coalition in New York is organizing marches and rallies throughout the state on the day the new same-sex “marriage” law takes effect, to demand that the legislature allow the voters to make the final decision on the definition of marriage.

The pro-referendum coalition, calling itself “Let the People Vote,” has organized the demonstrations in Manhattan, Albany, Buffalo, and Rochester for July 24 at 3 p.m. 

“The actions of these legislators and the Governor not only betrayed the trust of those who elected them, but also outraged the silent majority,” said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. “Voters in 31 other states have been able to decide the definition of marriage for their states, but New Yorkers have been denied that right.”

Let The People Vote describes itself as a coalition of “many diverse religious and ethnic communities” that are united around the principle of protecting the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The group expects to turn out “thousands of concerned citizens statewide” in support of a referendum on marriage.

A referendum on marriage would have to be approved in a bill by the legislature, since New York’s constitution does not allow the people to amend the state constitution or pass laws through the referendum process.

During the GOP conference’s debate on whether to bring the bill to the floor, some Republican senators proposed passing such a version of a same-sex “marriage” bill, instead of the one that eventually passed and was signed into law by Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo. However, the idea was shot down by GOP Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who said he did not want them to deal with the issue any longer.

The Let the People Vote coalition hopes to pout bipartisan pressure on the legislature to allow the people to make the final call.

“God is the author of marriage. Marriage unites men and women and provides the best opportunity for children to be raised by their mother and father. Children need both a mom and a dad,” said Bishop Joseph Mattera, presiding bishop of the Christ Covenant Coalition in New York, and Let the People Vote coalition member. “For centuries, this is the way it has been. If New York is going to change the definition of marriage, it should be the People and not the politicians who make the decision.”

Locations for the demonstrations are 633 3rd Avenue in Manhattan, West Capital Park at the corner of South Swan and State Streets, the Liberty Pole in Rochester at the corner of East Ave. and E. Main Street, and at the City Hall in Buffalo.