Two great pieces of news in one day! First a federal judge granted Planned Parenthood of Indiana an injunction restoring Medicaid funding, and then New York state approved same-sex marriage. After several days in which is was unclear whether the issue would be voted on or whether there was enough support for the measure, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill late Friday. It makes New York the largest state where same-sex couples can now legally marry.
One of the sticking points in the debate was exemptions for religious institutions. I have never had a problem with churches, synagogues or mosques not performing same-sex weddings. I don’t agree with it but that’s totally their choice. And what gay couple would want to get married in an establishment that regards them as subhuman, anyway? However, if a state government legally recognizes same-sex couples, those people should not be discriminated against in, say, a religiously affiliated hospital. I also don’t think those couples should be prevented from adopting children from religious adoption agencies. Your religious beliefs should end where someone else’s civil rights begin.
One interesting tidbit is that this law passed a Republican Senate when two years ago it failed in a Democratic Senate. I have to praise the Republicans who went against their party and voted in favor of love:
With his position still undeclared, Senator Mark J. Grisanti, a Republican from Buffalo who had sought office promising to oppose same-sex marriage, told his colleagues he had agonized for months before concluding he had been wrong.
“I apologize for those who feel offended,” Mr. Grisanti said, adding, “I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is the same rights that I have with my wife.”
It’s statements like his that give me hope that although marriage equality exists in just five states right now (with New York to be the sixth), in the not-too-distant future it will be reality in all 50.