NY’s Marriage Equality Act Sees First Court Challenge

Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

In This Corner: NY Governor Andrew Cuomo ...

A coalition of conservative groups filed for an injunction in a Livingston County, New York Supreme Court (a trial court in NY parlance) asking the judge to overturn New York’s same-sex marriage law. New Yorker’s for Constitutional Freedom (NYCF) seek to enjoin operation of the law claiming that procedural requirements for the legislation were ignored, legislators were promised huge campaign contributions in exchange for their vote by NYC Mayor Bloomberg, and that Governor Andrew Cuomo violated the three-day review period by falsely issuing a “message of necessity” to the Legislature to speed up passage of the legislation. Through their lawyers, Liberty Counsel, the conservative action group also claims the public and lobbyists were shut out of the process.

Liberty Counsel is an interesting  public interest law firm. Headed by the husband-wife team of  Matt and Anita Staver, the firm has its roots with the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. Chairman Matt also

... and the Challenger/Poet, Anita Sarver, Esq.

serves as  the dean of Liberty’s Law school, while wife, Anita, serves as the president of the firm. Anita is infamous in the LGBT community for her satirical poem comparing gays to Ficus trees.  The little ditty, entitled The Tree and I: Why I Want to Marry a Ficus, and found on the Liberty Counsel website, goes like this:

Oh how I love my Ficus tree
It’s one with whom I long to be
I rub its bark and shine its green
It’s calm and never makes a scene

We’re quite content and never shout
When I stay out late it doesn’t pout
Or tell me how to spend my money
It leans toward me and I call it “honey”

It fills a special place in my heart
I promise that we will never part
I can even quote a Bible verse
Of the fig tree that Jonah loved first

Now there’s a judge on the west coast
I know he’ll give what I want most
To marry my precious ficus tree
Me, a ficus and baby makes three

This may never become a trend
So I may tire of my woody friend
And if I decide to give up my Mister
The judge would then let me marry my sister!

Quite charming. Couth or not, the Stavers’ claim a 92% success rate since 2004 in cases in which they’ve been involved. Crows Rev. Jason J. McGuire, NYCF’s executive director, “Today we are asking the court to intervene in its rightful role as the check and balance on an out-of-control state legislature.”

Governor Cuomo*, son of feisty former NY Governor, Mario Cuomo, is nonplussed. A Cuomo official said those challenging the law “lack a basic understanding of the laws of the state of New York. The suit is without merit.”

Upon  passage of the law, Governor Cuomo said  “New York has always been about equality and bringing people in. New York has always been about acceptance.”

In the words of another famous New Yorker, “start spreading the news.”
Source: CNN; Liberty Counsel website; UPI; Washington Times

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

* Disclosure: Governor Cuomo is a high school classmate of my law partner.

16 thoughts on “NY’s Marriage Equality Act Sees First Court Challenge”

  1. Really? That’s on their website, that just oozes… professionalism. Well maybe not, but I’m pretty sure oozes is the right verb.

    I’ve seen better satire and rhyme from ancient roman graffiti.

  2. “Anti-Gay Group Files Suit To Overturn NY’s Marriage Equality Law”

    “New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms has filed suit to halt and overturn New York’s marriage equality law, the NY Daily News reports:

    The group, led by the Rev. Jason J. McGuire (pictured), claims that the state Senate, in adopting the legislation, violated the state’s Open Meetings Law by closing off the Senate galleries and lobby; and by holding closed door meetings with Mayor Bloomberg and others who backed the law.”

    Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2011/07/anti-gay-group-files-suit-to-overturn-nys-marriage-equality-law.html#ixzz1TFRKO55t

    Gee, did this group of Constitutional activists join the court challenge in Wisconsin when their legislature did the same thing recently regarding union rights? I guess I missed that story 🙂 Posers.

  3. Good story, mespo. One minor correction: it’s Matt and Anita Staver.

  4. Today’s conservatives always need someone to hate … it would save us all time and money if they simply looked in the mirror.

  5. Nal & rafflaw,

    That’s a poem? That’s satire? That’s drivel masquerading as a poem because it rhymes and is written in stanzas. Anita should be charged with poetry abuse. Book her, Dante!

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