Reversing SSM in New York: The Campaign Begins


Reverse SSM in New York

What can you do to restore marriage in New York?

The secretive, "emergency" process by which same-sex marriage was brought to New York last Friday night has left many outraged—even some supporters of same-sex marriage. It also made one thing abundantly clear: in order to change policy on marriage, we're going to have to change personnel in Albany—starting with the turncoat senators who made promises their constituents on marriage and then voted the opposite way.

We've committed to spending at least $2 million to elect pro-marriage majorities in the 2012 elections. But in order to do that we need your help. We'll have much more to share in the days ahead, but today, the single most important thing you can do is to make a generous contribution to NOM PAC NY. Will you stand with us today?

Like you, we're incredibly disappointed—and frustrated—at both the procedure and especially the outcome in New York last week. I still find it unfathomable that Republicans thought they would benefit from handing Governor Cuomo a victory that his own party couldn't achieve when they were in the majority.

The ugly details of the process by which same-sex marriage came to New York is still coming to light. Here's how the Gotham Gazette describes it:

Essentially the Senate rules were changed in a backroom agreement before session started and then changed again during the vote to make sure it would be concluded to make the 11 p.m. newscasts.

Sen. Kevin Parker, a long time proponent of same-sex marriage, was informed by Senate staff that he would not be able to explain his vote. He was livid. He cursed out the governor and eventually stormed to the podium where Duffy was presiding—a number of other Democratic senators followed him, seemingly to calm him down.

Earlier when Sen. Ruben Diaz tried to lay the marriage bill aside he was ignored. Normal Senate procedure allows for any senator to lay a bill aside for debate. It gives legislators a chance to debate the bill then when they vote, they again have the chance to explain their vote. But the rules weren't the same. . . .

After realizing he would not be allowed to speak despite his protests, Parker tried to leave the floor. The door he tried to exit was locked. Earlier Duffy had asked the crowd not to leave the chamber during the vote. Cuomo's people—staff and security—had been in and out of the side door locking and unlocking it all during the debate. At one point a man wearing an ear piece emerged and surveyed the route Cuomo would take. When Parker tried to leave the door was locked again.

"I go to the door, and I tried to leave, and they had us locked in. I tried to leave, and they had us locked on to the floor," Parker said. Finally he made it out of the chamber. "One sergeant of arms physically grabbed me. I was appalled. I'm a senator." Parker then made his way through an ante chamber. "A plain clothes cop and secretary tried to close the door again," he explains, trying to block his exit. "I've never seen a member treated in such a manner. I've never seen white member treated that way," Parker, who is black, said. He was again also confronted by another sergeant of arms.

The bill was declared an emergency—allowing them to introduce new religious liberty language just hours before the vote, instead of the usual 3 days. The rules were changed again while the vote was taking place—and even senators treated shamefully, essentially locked on the floor of the Senate—and why? So Governor Cuomo could make the 11 o'clock news.

It's high time for change in Albany.

A constitutional amendment in New York requires approval from the legislature in two successive legislatures—and does not require the governor's signature—before going to the voters for final approval.

We're putting together a 4-year campaign strategy that will reverse same-sex marriage in New York. We'll have many more details, and ways for you to get involved, in the days ahead but the overall plan will have three phases:

Elect pro-marriage majorities next November that will approve a marriage amendment in both the Assembly and Senate during the 2013 legislative session.

Protect pro-marriage candidates in the 2014 elections, so that the amendment can receive final legislative approval in the 2015 legislative session.

Successfully pass the ballot measure when it goes before voters in November 2015.

A 4-year process seems like a long time—and it is—but it's achievable. In New Hampshire and Iowa, they've had same-sex marriage for just 2 years, but are already well on the way to reversal. The key to success is electing legislative majorities who will answer to the people of their state, and not to special interests.

Tim Gill, the Human Rights Campaign and their allies are already promising millions to defend Republican senators who voted for same-sex marriage. But we've successfully defeated every pro-ssm Republican we've ever targeted, and I'm convinced we can do so again. We don't have to match Tim Gill dollar for dollar—but we do need resources to make sure voters remember how they were betrayed on marriage. Republican primary voters are strongly pro-marriage, and don't take kindly to politicians who say one thing and then do another.

Will you stand with us today? Your gift of $49, $99, or even $999 or more, will be the first step toward reclaiming New York from the special interests and backroom deals that resulted in same-sex marriage last Friday night. Give a gift for marriage, for transparency, and for New Yorkers' right to vote!

Then stay tuned for more to come in the days ahead—and tell your friends to join us as we launch this campaign to reclaim marriage in New York!