The Shame Of 38

Law professors Darren Rosenblum (Pace University) and Sonia Katyal (Fordham) have published an article in the National Law Journal about the recent failure of marriage equality in the New York Senate. An excerpt:

It is an insult to our dignity and that of our families. The Senate shamed our state by failing to establish the right of New Yorkers to marry without regard to sex, preventing our marriages, and incidentally depriving the state of substantial revenue from such weddings and increased tax revenue from newly married couples.

New York City has the largest lesbian and gay population of any U.S. city. It is the birthplace of the modern LGBT movement and the home to dozens of national and international LGBT civil rights and religious groups. We are in every industry from law to fashion, from public service to finance. We contribute enormously to the creativity and the prosperity of New York. Heterosexual New Yorkers know this — that’s why recent polls indicate that a majority of New Yorkers support ending marriage discrimination. But the state Senate disregarded the civil rights of a large and deserving minority for the ignorant homophobia of the past.

The vote may encourage those who oppose our rights. Many employers have chosen to ignore same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions in spite of clear legal precedent and an executive order by Gov. David Paterson. The moral and economic effect of this is staggering. Lifelong partnerships prove meaningless for obtaining health insurance or any of the numerous public benefits that come with marriage. Even those of us who have married elsewhere are second-class citizens. We pay the same high taxes, only to support the rights of our straight fellow New Yorkers.

Rosenblum is a regular JMG reader. Read the full article.