- The Washington Times - Monday, July 25, 2011

The day after New York became the sixth U.S. state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a traditional-values law firm filed a lawsuit to overturn the law, saying that politicians used a “corrupt legislative process” to enact it.

The lawsuit claims violations of New York State Open Meetings laws, irregularities in the state Senate voting procedures and “unprecedented Senate lock-outs” in which lobbyists and the public were denied access to lawmakers.

The gay marriage law was enacted soon after the Senate voted, 33-29, in favor of it on June 24. The law went into effect July 24.

“New York law requires that the government be open and transparent to keep political officials responsible,” said Mathew D. Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a Florida legal organization that has argued against same-sex marriage.

“When government operates in secret and freezes out the very people it is supposed to represent, the entire system fails,” he said. “The backroom tactics were rampant in the passages of this law. The law should be set aside and the process should begin again to allow the people a voice in the process.”

On Sunday, gay marriage supporters celebrated the issuance of marriage licenses all over New York. Many judges waived the 24-hour waiting period to marry, and hundreds of weddings were held Sunday.

“This is a statement that we should all feel good about,” New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo told a party in honor of gay marriage, according to the New York Daily News. “New York has always been about equality and bringing people in. New York has always been about acceptance,” Mr. Cuomo said.

“I believe the legislators who voted for marriage equality, this is actually going to be an asset for them,” he added.

The lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court in Livingston County names New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and its Executive Director Jason J. McGuire and senior lobbyist Duane R. Motley; and Nathaniel S. Leiter, executive director of Torah Jews for Decency, as plaintiffs.

The New York Senate, New York State Department of Health, and state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman are named as defendants.

Separately, the National Organization for Marriage held rallies in New York cities on Sunday, calling for a voter referendum on whether to overturn the gay marriage statute.

• Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at cwetzstein@washingtontimes.com.

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