In the final day of intense backdoor lobbying, two republicans –both Catholics– broke with the Republican party and voted for the gay marriage bill, ignoring the bishops of New York who said today they opposed the bill “in the strongest possible terms.”
The bill will now be signed into law by Catholic Governor Andrew Cuomo. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this situation in the coming days and weeks.
Advocates for religious freedom did force the New York assemblies, in the 11th hour, to adopt stronger religious protections than they had originally proposed – but the amendment’s language was only made public this afternoon and was immediately voted into law, disallowing any real opportunity for the language to be examined by legal experts (incidentally, a New York law requiring bills to be posted for the public to see 72 hours before being voted upon was suspended to rush the bill through the process).
Whenever a setback in the fight to protect marriage take places, it’s important not to lose perspective. The media is quick to amplify “defeats” for traditional marriage, and barely mentions victories of those who believe marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.
Here are some quick things to recall about the struggle to protect marriage:
- Efforts to redefine marriage in Maryland and Rhode Island, both deeply liberal states, were defeated this year. New York was the last chance activists had to try to redefine marriage in a state this year.
- Minnesota and Indiana both witnessed positive movement this year towards defining marriage more securely as the union of husband and wife. Other states will soon follow suit.
- 31 States, so far, have voted for traditional marriage when they have put it to the people.
- The NY legislature has imposed gay marriage on the state. If it had gone to a vote of the people of New York – traditional marriage would have won. 57% of New Yorkers reject same-sex marriage. Advocates for redefining marriage know they lack popular majority support – which is why always resist allowing people to vote on the issue. New York was no exception to this rule.
- According to a new comprehensive poll released by the Alliance Defense Fund, 62% of Americans favor traditional marriage (yes, you read that right).
- The National Organization for Marriage (where I work) has pledged “at least” $2 million dollars to reversing same-sex marriage in NY. Votes against marriage and family will have real consequences.
I could say much more, but these are some of the most important points to make now. We can expect the media to be full of headlines and talking heads proclaiming the “death” of traditional marriage and vilifying those who hold fast to it in the days ahead. Don’t let it get to you. Popularity and acceptance were never attributes Christ promised His disciples they would get to enjoy.
Catholics, for our part, must commit ourselves tonight, more than ever, to fully understanding the good reasons why marriage exists only between a man and a woman, and become more prepared to articulate those reasons with courage and conviction in the public square, as well as to actively participate in the political process and influence a culture that is confused and deceived about what is really at stake here.
In the end, real love and truth will win. Of that I have precisely no doubt.
On a personal note, thank you so much to all of you who prayerfully and proactively have supported my efforts to protect marriage in New York these past few weeks. I owe you a great debt of gratitude. Thank you most of all for your patience as I was forced to dedicate my time and attention to covering this important issue, often times to the detriment of reporting and commenting on other issues near and dear to my heart.
Tonight we rest and reflect, tomorrow is a new day, and by God’s grace, a better one.