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MassResistance: New York
New York Orthodox rabbis fighting hard for traditional marriage
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June 16: Staten Island News "With just 1 vote needed for gay marriage bill, pressure building on Staten Island's state Sen. Andrew Lanza"
New York "Gay marriage" vote stalled in state Senate thanks to tireless lobbying from pro-family side
Huge battle this week as session winds down
"Religious exemptions" being opposed by religious groups
POSTED: June 19, 2011
As New York State's official legislative session draws to a close, there is a furious effort by the liberal establishment to pass the "gay marriage" bill into law. It's passed the state Assembly, but there is still just one vote in the Senate keeping from passing.
See current text of "Marriage Equality Act" HERE.
The homosexual lobby and liberal establishment are staging an enormous, well-funded and well organized lobbying campaign, which includes an expensive PR campaign and an organized effort generating a flood of phone calls from key districts. The Governor, Mayor of New York, major entertainers, sports figures, business figures (even Republicans!), and of course the media are all part of the big "civil rights" push.
Earlier this week the "gay marriage" bill was quickly introduced into the state Assembly and breezed through as expected. But it's still one vote short in the Senate, even after several key "pro-family" Senators caved in to the intense pressure over the last several days and switched to supporting the bill.
The legislative session officially ends on Monday, June 20, but it's expected that the Governor will extend the session until he can get the votes to pass "gay marriage". However, it's up to the Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, an opponent of the bill, to allow it to get to the floor for a vote. He has not indicated what he'll do, which has our side very uneasy to say the least.
However, from MassResistance's information talking with pro-family advocates, our side is fighting hard, what we perceive to be a three-pronged battle to push back the pro-gay marriage flood:
Nevertheless, we've been told by people at the State House that with the back-room deals, horse-trading, and general high-pressure tactics by the Democratic leadership and homosexual lobby, this is the sleaziest situation they've ever seen and there's no way to determine how things will come out. As we saw in Massachusetts and other states, the proponents of "gay marriage" are obsessed with doing anything they can, including extending the session, to get the votes and have it pass the Senate.
Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Frustrated in N.Y. Lobbying
Another danger looming: the “religious exemptions” compromise
The liberal establishment’s lobbying effort intensified last week. Some “pro-family” Republican senators have reacted to that by redoubling their previous efforts to make the bill more palatable by adding “religious exemptions.” These would exempt religious institutions from many aspects of the bill.
As the New York Times reported, last week a group of Republican senators met with the Governor to persuade him to add such exemptions to the ones already in the bill. As the Times observed, “The legislation already includes language that exempts broad classes of religious institutions and private benevolent organizations from hosting or recognizing gay ceremonies, while indemnifying such institutions from lawsuits.” But the senators are seeking stronger and more specific exemptions.
Most homosexual groups are opposed to any religious exemptions because they want everyone to be forced to accept “gay marraige.” But conservatives see religious exemptions as an unfair penalty to regular religious people whose employment or situations are not specified in the exemptions. Thus these "exemptions" provide cover for reluctant legislators to support the “gay marriage” bill, while still constituting a general threat to religious freedom.
Torah Jews for Decency has been lobbying heavily against religious exemptions for several weeks. And last week the New York State Catholic Conference was also at the State House letting legislators know that religious exemptions won’t change their minds about the bill.
The Catholic Conference told the New York Times, "It should be noted that we will continue to strongly oppose any redefinition of the historic understanding of marriage, regardless of the strength of the religious liberty protections."
A frantic week ahead . . .
The legislative session is scheduled to end on Monday, but as reported above, the Governor and his liberal allies will likely extend it for this bill. We are in close contact with pro-family advocates and will keep you updated on this. Also see our special MassResistance page on the New York marriage battle, which we plan to update frequently until the session ends..
NY Legislature to vote on "gay marriage" this week
Several "pro-family" Republicans selling out and switching votes under pressure
POSTED: June 16, 2011
It's been a very, very difficult week for the pro-family movement in New York State. The battle for votes in the State Senate for the "gay marriage" bill is unbelievable. The New York legislative session ends this Monday, June 20.
In other words, key Republicans have been caving in and the battle is on to keep any more from jumping ship. It's disgraceful to see formerly "good" legislators suddenly announce that they're now for "marriage equality" or similar lunacy. To their credit, pro-family groups, including the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) have vowed to make sure their constituents know this on election day.
June 16: CNN: New York Assembly approves same-sex marriage
June 15: New York Daily News: New York Assembly passes bill to legalize gay marriage 80-63; Legislation now heads to Senate
June 15 (pro-gay blog) New York Giants owner announces support for homosexual "marriage".
June 14: New York Daily News: NY Senate Gay Marriage Vote Likely Friday
"Torah Jews for Decency" lobbying, organizing to stop "gay marriage" bill now in New York State Senate.
POSTED: June 6, 2011
THE LATEST : Gay Marriage Bill. This is a real battle. This bill is being pushed hard by the Governor, the (Republican) Mayor of New York, Wall Street businessmen, major sports figures, labor unions, and even wealthy Republicans.
The bill is being fought equally hard by a broad coalition of religious groups and the National Organization of Marriage, which has pledged $1.5 million to defeat any Republican who votes for it or to support any Democrat who votes against it.
The legislative session ends June 20, and both sides are lobbying furiously.The bill has not been taken up by the House yet. It will be formally introduced and voted on in the Senate -- as soon as the Governor identifies a clear majority for it to pass it there. But despite huge pressure from the liberal establishment, that's not yet happened. The tally is currently 26 Senators for the bill, 28 against, and 8 on the fence -- 5 Republicans and 3 Democrats.
MassResistance has been working closely with an Orthodox Jewish political group, Torah Jews for Decency, which has been personally lobbying a number of Senators, as well as organizing to put pressure on others. They have also asked MassResistance to devote some pages on our website for their material, since we are considered fairly prominent. We plan to put that up this weekend.
It's an interesting situation. Although the big money and influence are on the pro-"gay marriage" side, the local pressure in the districts is overwhelmingly against it. The reason for that is that, except for homosexual activists, the large numbers of people in New York who do support gay marriage are not particularly passionate about it. But the people in the districts against it are VERY passionate about it and willing to be very vocal and active. Thus, even some pro-gay marriage Senators have decided to be in the "anti" gay marriage camp on this one.
Letter to Republican Senate Majority Leader
POSTED: June 6, 2011
The following letter, written by Rabbi Noson Leiter, was distributed to constituents in the Republican Majority Leader's district and sent to him last week. It resulted in a meeting being scheduled this week with Rabbi Leiter.
Senator Dean Skelos
Honorable Dean Skelos,
Thank you for your defense of Marriage in the past. We now plead with you: please do not hold yet another vote on de-defining Marriage. It would be an affront to the Creator, and threaten Religious Liberty for all Bible-believers.
The most effective way the Republicans have of attracting and keeping Orthodox Jewish support is by defending Marriage.
If the Republican Party cannot stand up for Marriage, they send a message that they do not truly stand for anything.
(We are NOT asking for funding, programs, or any special favors. We are simply begging you not to risk our religious liberties and our childrens' future.)
Also please realize that to include "religious exemptions" in any de-definition of marriage would be perhaps the greatest threat to Marriage. That would increase the likelihood of passage (as the recent Maryland experience shows.) By trying to delay our defeat, we would ensure it. Additionally, religious exemptions could never protect us - particularly private individuals and business-owners - from all the effects of this bill, nor could they render such an attack on the Bible "kosher."
Instead, we urge you to push for Senate passage of the Defense Of Marriage Act in NY, as introduced by the esteemed Senator Marty Golden.
Thank you very much. This issue is more important for our vote than any social service or material benefit. Our vote for you depends on your leadership in decisively defending Marriage.
The Road to Hell is Paved With Religious Exemptions"
Rabbi Noson S. Leiter
(Distributed among various religious groups.)
The following are some primary objections to the inclusion of "Religious Exemptions" in any Marriage Re-Definition legislation.
1. Religious exemptions do NOT alter the basic premise and nature of the bill, which is antithetical to Biblical values and a rebellion against the Creator.
2. Religious exemptions threaten to ensure passage of this contraversial legislation. That would likely have occurred in marriage re-definition, had the Religious exemptions been added to the bill. This is because adding religious exemptions provisions provide anti-marriage legislators in pro-decency districts with somewhat of a pretext to allow them to vote for de-defining marriage.
3. Religious exemptions would by nature be limited. For example, Religious exemptions would NOT extend to every individual person (and theoretically, even if they would, they wouldn't be accepted by the LGBT agitators). Civil Rights trump religious liberty (Bob Jones Univ. a case in point). Once civil "gay marriage" would become law, it would create a Compelling State Interest in ensuring compliance. That could easily trample religious objections of individuals.
4. Religious exemptions may be degraded or decimated (at least in part) by the leftwing courts. In NY, given our AG Schneiderman, who fanatically campaigned on promoting the LGBT regime (perhaps to the extent of making Sharia Law look appealing in comparison), we can expect Religious exemptions exemptions to go the way of anti-sodomy laws.
5. No Religious exemptions would even purport to spare us the societal fallout of marriage re-definition, e.g. public performances deleterious to children and adults alike; ostracism of Bible-adherents in the business world and mainstream public life; and much more