Eric Schneiderman | Gay Marriage | New York | News

Judge Rules Lawsuit Challenging New York Marriage Equality Law Can Proceed

New York Supreme Court Judge Robert Wiggins has ruled that a lawsuit brought by New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom challenging the state's marriage equality law can proceed.

McguireThe NY Daily News wrote, of the lawsuit, in July:

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.

The group also claims, among other things, that Gov. Cuomo and the Senate ignored the constitutionally mandated three-day waiting period before a bill can be acted upon and that lawmakers approved the legislation in exchange for campaign contributions from Bloomberg and other high profile "Wall Street financiers."

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asked Wiggins to dismiss the case in September. The AP:

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman argued in papers filed Friday that the opponents have not been harmed by the law, don’t have standing to challenge the actions of the Senate and any procedural actions of the Senate and governor aren’t subject to judicial review.

Capitol Confidential reports on Wiggins ruling:

The four-page decision includes some tough language for the way things get done at the Capitol, including what the judge labels as “disingenuous” justifications from Gov. Andrew Cuomo for issuing a message of necessity that rushed the legislation onto the Senate floor on the final evening of session. In the case of same-sex marriage, the message stated that speed was required as long as 50,000 New Yorkers were being denied their right to marry — a set of circumstances that had pertained for the previous 200-odd years without prompting emergency action.

However, Wiggins "concludes the decision by shooting down all of the lawsuit’s complaints" and letting the Attorney General off the hook as a defendant: "Wiggins notes that since the court must assume the underlying facts in the suit’s case to be true, the matter is therefore 'a justiciable issue' to be determined in court."

Wiggins also notes in his ruling that the measure is not one in which the Court should be involved:

 this Court is reluctantly obliged to rule that that the message of necessity submitted by the Governor was accepted by vote of the Senate, and is NOT within this Court’s province to nullify.”

More from Capital Tonight HERE.

More from the NY Daily News HERE.

Full ruling, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. Is it surprising that someone is challenging this? How many politicians take money for votes, should we actually get into that at this point? I think there are more important and bigger issues that need focusing on than marriage equality for gay's.....

    Posted by: Lee | Nov 29, 2011 12:36:32 PM

  2. Oh, so the open meetings law is important when it helps right wing bigots in New York, but when the open meetings law in Wisconsin is ACTUALLY violated, the Democratic senators who protested were being crybabies. That makes total sense.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Nov 29, 2011 12:45:04 PM

  3. I'm not commenting on the court's ultimate decision in this case, but the actual opinion itself is extremely unprofessional. No court should refer to a party's argument as "spew[ing] sanctimonious verbiage," among other things. The judge is clearly biased.

    Posted by: Tyler | Nov 29, 2011 1:04:27 PM

  4. Was there any word on how this effect marriage in the short term? Will there be an injunction to stop it until the case is done or anything? I'm getting married next year and this officially scares the crap out of me. I don't want to end of like California and be forced into some sort of marriage limbo or - even worse - end up having missed my chance entirely.

    Posted by: MT | Nov 29, 2011 1:11:18 PM

  5. An absolutely moronic result, I suspect it will be rapidly overturned by the Appellate Division. The idea that Cuomo speaking with the Republican Caucus was a session of the Senate required to be publicly open is preposterous.

    Posted by: Glenn | Nov 29, 2011 1:19:55 PM

  6. Another self-hating gay man unhappy with his choice to believe those who told him he was a sinner.

    Posted by: Steve | Nov 29, 2011 1:47:51 PM

  7. @MT, whatever you do, don't miss the opportunity if you and your partner are in love with one another. I look back and realize how I almost said no to my husband. I am devoted to him, adore him and our son, but when he first asked me to marry him I wondered if we should. Would the State take it away from us? Now I thank every beautiful day that I said yes.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Nov 29, 2011 2:13:27 PM

  8. Well, if only the courts had the backbone to fight corruption every day. So, laws designed to prevent corruption, which are almost never enforced by the courts, are going to put civil right legislation on trial?? It's kinda funny/sad.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 29, 2011 2:46:03 PM

  9. who did this clown pay off to become a state court justice? he looks totally befuddled. if this is the kind of person who decides the rights of thousands of new yorkers we are in trouble.

    Posted by: walter | Nov 29, 2011 4:05:27 PM

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