Marriage Wins in New York, Loses in D.C.
The New York State Senate, by a vote of 38-24, defeated a bill today that would have allowed homosexual persons to “marry” each other.
At the same time, the D.C. Council voted 11-2 to legalize same-sex “marriage” in the nation’s capital. According to a Washington Post report, a second vote, scheduled for Dec. 15, is necessary for the measure to become law.
Washington’s Democratic Mayor Adrian Fenty has said he will sign the legislation.
Washington would join Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Iowa in allowing same-sex “marriage.”
Richard Rosendall, a past president of the Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance of Washington D.C., told the Post, “This is a culmination of the entire gay-rights movement. We have spent many, many years working toward this.”
The bill does not require churches or religious organizations to participate in same-sex “marriages,” the Post reported, but it does require religious organizations and churches to offer the same benefits to their married homosexual employees as married heterosexual employees. For that reason, the Archdiocese of Washington has reminded the council that Catholic Charities may have to stop providing homeless shelters, adoption agencies and other social services to the city.
Susan Gibbs, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said that if a compromise is not reached, the Church will continue to provide services — but with fewer resources, because it will no longer be able to bid on city contracts.
“We are just asking for a bill that would balance the city’s interest in legalizing same-sex ‘marriage’ and religious groups’ interest in following their faith teachings,” Gibbs said.
In New York, Richard Barnes, executive director of the state’s Catholic Conference, which represents the New York bishops in matters of public policy, expressed his gratitude after today’s vote.
“On behalf of the bishops of New York state, we are extremely pleased and grateful that the New York State Senate, in a bipartisan vote, rejected the concept that marriage can be anything other than the union of one man and one woman.
“While the Catholic Church rejects unjust discrimination against homosexual men and women, there is no question that marriage, by its nature, is the union of one man and one woman,” Barnes said. “Advocates for same-sex ‘marriage’ have attempted to portray their cause as inevitable. However, it has become clear that Americans continue to understand marriage the way it has always been understood, and New York is not different in that regard. This is a victory for the basic building block of our society.”