The fact is that I am not stunned by the NY State Senate failing to pass the Gay Marriage Bill. You see, I have worked directly with the NY State Senate when I led the fight in NY State to pass the Family Building Mandate. I am furious, embarrassed, and appalled at the NY State Senate for not giving gay couples the same rights as straight couples, but surprised? No.
NY State government does not work the way other state governments work it seems. At least when I was working to pass the NY State fertility mandate it was about getting the party leaders (two men) on your side. Once you had them – and then the Governor came along and your bill passed.
Everything was done behind the scenes. And what I learned was that the Catholic Church was very powerful in NY State. It was almost as if they had a seat in the Senate – and the NY State Senate was very careful about making the Catholic Lobbying Groups angry. If they were going to make the Catholic Church angry on one issue – they gave them another.
Is it the Catholic Church’s political clout in NY State that ensured the failure of the bill? I really don’t know – but I would not be surprised. I know that the Church held IVF back from being directed covered by the fertility mandate in NY – and instead the DOH Infertility Grants were created. That was a piece of political maneuvering. So IVF which is not supported by the Catholic Church is not mandated in NY State – but you can get funding for it through the department of health. Interesting huh?
There is a part of me that believes if the NY State Senate could figure out how to make Gay Marriage legal in NY State without letting the Church know – they would.
I believe that Gays and Lesbians should be allowed to marry, and have the same rights, benefits and head aches of marriage that straight people enjoy.
And then there is the little matter of the children. Gay men and Lesbian women are creating families.
Every day there are children that are born into – or adopted into same sex families. These families are being built through donor eggs and sperm – adoption – and surrogacy. Don’t these kids deserve to grow up in a family that is not discriminated against because of the sexuality of their parents?
Do we want these children to grow up in a country that tells them that their parents are not equal under the law? Is this the lesson that we want these precious children to grow up with? Or do we want all children to grow up learning tolerance, fairness and embracing diversity.
Look, I know we are making strides in protecting the children of gays and lesbians. And even NY State Officials are beginning to budge – just a few months ago there was a major victory for LGBT families in NY.
As reported by 1010 Wins – NY State Officials are now allowing same sex couples to list both of their names on their children’s birth certificates. Husbands have their names automatically added to their child’s birth certificates – but same sex couples have had to go through incredible hurdles to get both names listed on the birth certificate. This change occurred after a lesbian couple filed suit
Carolyn Trzeciak and Nina Sheldon Trzeciak of Ulster County, who got married in Canada in 2006, sued. Nina Sheldon Trzeciak conceived through in vitro fertilization.
As reported by 1010 Wins – “The couple’s legal complaint argued that both should be designated as parents under Paterson’s directive. The governor told state agencies to make sure policies and regulations treated married same-sex and male-female couples equally, saying a recent court ruling suggested they would otherwise risk discrimination claims.
Gay couples may be able to secure a second parent’s rights through adoption. But having their names on a child’s birth certificate immediately gives both spouses such rights as nursery visits and information on the child’s medical condition, the lawsuit said.
“That gives them equal treatment,” said Trzeciak’s and Sheldon Trzeciak’s lawyer, Melissa B. Brisman of Park Ridge, N.J.”
Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine are now the only U.S. states that allows gay marriages. There are other states that let same-sex couples enter into civil unions offering some of marriage’s legal advantages. But these civil unions are not equal to marriages.
“Many of the States that allow gay marriage or civil unions have made provisions for birth certificates to list both partners’ names”, said Susan Sommer, senior counsel for the gay rights advocacy group Lambda Legal. It was not involved in the Trzeciak case.’
Lambda Legal still urges couples to cement both parents’ rights through an adoption or other court order, but Sommer said getting the names of both parents on the birth certificate is a great help to the children.”
This is not only an important step in recognizing the rights of same sex couples it is an important step in recognizing the rights of the children of same sex couples. All children have the right to have both of their parents listed on their birth certificate.
Now we have to get gay marriage bills past all across the country. It’s not just about the couples – it’s about the families.