June 24, 2021 marks the tenth anniversary of the legalization of same-sex “marriage” in New York.
Ten years ago, same-sex “marriage” legislation passed both houses of the Legislature and was signed into law. When the law went into effect a month later, New York was only the sixth U.S. state where same-sex “marriage” was legal. Voters in more than half of U.S. states—including liberal states like California and Oregon—had passed constitutional amendments affirming the one-man, one-woman definition of marriage. During the most recent presidential campaign (2008), both candidates—Democratic U.S. Sen. Barack Obama and Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain—stated that they supported an opposite-sex definition of marriage. A federal law called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) still recognized marriage as the union of male and female.
In the 10 years since Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the so-called Marriage Equality Act, American law and society have undergone dramatic changes with regard to marriage. DOMA is long gone. Due to the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex “marriage” is legal in every state. In the past two presidential elections, neither major-party candidate opposed same-sex “marriage.” A Christian baker, a Christian florist, and several Christian photographers have been subjected to years of litigation due to their conscientious objection to providing services in connection with same-sex “weddings.” Here in New York, town clerks have resigned from office to avoid violating their consciences by signing same-sex “marriage” licenses. The Christian owners of a catering hall have been fined for “discrimination” for declining to rent out their property for same-sex “weddings.” In 2012, Gov. Cuomo described opposition to same-sex “marriage” as “anti-New York” and “anti-American.” The New York State Legislature has continued to push the same-sex agenda by banning change therapy for minors with unwanted same-sex attraction in 2019 and legalizing paid surrogacy in 2020. New Hope Family Services, an evangelical Christian adoption agency based in Syracuse, is in the midst of a lawsuit against the State of New York; because New Hope does not place children in same-sex households, the state is attempting to shut it down.
Throughout the legislative battle over same-sex “marriage,” New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF) was a leading voice for authentic marriage. Our message was simple: God defined the institution of marriage, same-sex partnerships are not marriages, every child needs a mother and a father, and passing a same-sex “marriage” law would weaken religious liberty. While many people’s views on this issue have “evolved” over the years, ours have not; we continue to stand for the same principles that we stood for when Gov. Eliot Spitzer first introduced a same-sex “marriage” bill in 2007. The reason our position has not changed is that the Lord’s position has not changed. Despite our society’s rapid descent into confusion and error in regard to marriage, family, and sexuality, we are thankful that we still have the freedom to speak the truth in love.