Nina In New York: Time For New York To Step Up And Commit Already

A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.

By Nina Pajak

New York State again finds itself on the cusp of doing the right thing. At least, in my opinion.

If one more Republican Senator can find it in his heart to make like Roy McDonald and say, “Well, f— it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing,” we could become the next state in which gay marriage becomes legal. We’re so close! Frankly, like most serious marriage proposals, it should have happened long ago. Have you seen the list of states who beat us to this? Vermont, okay fine. I’d expect that. Even Massachusetts, I’ll be generous and give us a pass there. But New Hampshire? Come on, people! Have a little self-respect. I mean in no way to  denigrate the fine folks of New Hampshire, but I bet even they’re scratching their heads over the fact that we’re eating their dust. This is how we represent ourselves? New Hampshire, for gosh sakes…mumble mumble grumble…

I’m excited. I’m hopeful. It’s going to happen this time, I can feel it. And why not? Frankly, the “why not” has always been baffling to me. Okay, so some groups of people have certain strong feelings about homosexuality, and the odds of their minds being changed by any argument, no matter how logical or impassioned, is low. To zero. Honestly, it’s probably closer to zero. Fine.

But since when does everyone need to agree on everything?

Since when does one person’s personal choices affect another?

I would imagine that the devout Christians who oppose gay marriage would also oppose the fact that I eat meat on Fridays during Lent and do as I please on Sundays—and treat Christmas like it’s my birthday party. Orthodox Jews are probably offended by my lack of Sabbath observance and my deep and abiding love for pulled pork. They’d all likely object to my interfaith marriage and our plan to raise our children “culturally both or whatever.” But it isn’t illegal, and the fact of the matter is that they don’t have to like it. More importantly, they don’t actually care.

Maybe they think they care in theory, but in reality they don’t. And why should they? They don’t know me, and I don’t know them. My existence is completely meaningless to those who stand in opposition of this bill, and yet my lifestyle is, in many ways, just as appalling to their beliefs. I fail to see how two men or two women marrying in any way threatens anything they’ve built for themselves. Their marriages should remain quite intact, and if those relationships suddenly mean less because people of whom they disapprove have the same thing, well, I think it’s time for some personal reflection and introspection.

In a blog post, Archbishop Dolan wrote, “Our country’s founding principles speak of rights given by God, not invented by government…” Really? Our founding fathers also held slaves. Women were second-class citizens and African Americans were not even considered people. Let’s not lean too heavily on that tenet, because it’ll shatter. From its creation, this was supposed to be and ought to be a country in which people are not judged, are free from persecution, religious or otherwise. But this isn’t just about our country. This is New York! We’re open, we’re progressive, and we accept everyone in all shapes, colors and sizes. We’re a shelter in a storm! We let our freak flags fly. And if all that doesn’t work for you, there is one undeniable phrase that should resonate with every New Yorker regardless of his or her beliefs. And it should end this awful argument here and now:

None of your [bleeping] business.


Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.

Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.

The Nina Archives:

Let’s Drop This ‘Rehab’ Thing, Shall We?

The Great Purge

You Can Find Me At The Dog Run

Nothing Like Summer In The City

Sexting Will Get You Nowhere

Sometimes A Weiner Is Just A Weiner

The Catalog Attack

An Urban Exploration Of My Local Street Fair. It Was Fair.


One Comment

  1. lydia says:

    Delores, stop being so dramatic and remember that this country was based on the separation of church and state. Don’t bring your fiction into the laws of the land. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    a 27 years old doctor, mature and beautiful.and now I am seeking a good man who can give me real love , so i got a username Andromeda2002 on–s’e’ek’c’ou’ga’r.c óm– .it is the first and best clu’b forwealthy people and their admirers. e…you don’t have to be rich ,but you can meet one there ,maybe you wanna che’ck it out or tell your friends !

  2. Bruce Goldensteinberg says:

    Nina – It is wrong for you and your gay cronies to cram gay marriage down our throats. NYers believe in family and GOd, not man and man and man and goat. Man and Woman.

  3. Mark34 says:

    It’s time for NY to have same-sex marriage. OMG! This is so over long due, if Repubs would block this. I swear I would NEVER vote a Republican again!!! I thought they want smaller government therefore they need to back off with other people’s lives. Let them marry the person they love! Even most people in Iowa knows that! YES for MARRIAGE EQUALITY! Let’s move on, and go to important issues like our economy!

  4. nathan says:

    a 27 yr old beautiful dr cruising on w website called seek cougar? I call BS – You’re a spammer and you’ve been reported. You thought you could sneak that spam in with a comment on the topic – but you were wrong “lydia”

  5. jtorres says:

    I’m a straight, single, Catholic woman. This has nothing to do with religion. I think this is a matter of civil rights. I don’t want anyone to tell me who I can marry or who or what I can do in my bedroom behind closed doors. Why should I have the right to tell others? People against it say a civil union is the same thing. “Civil unions” are another form of “separate but equal” Remember what happen to those laws? And our country did not fall apart. And it won’t now either

  6. pugphan says:

    The majority of peeps in the land are Christians and Christ said, Mat: 19:3-12: Some
    are born that way, and they aren’t meant to marry. The whole thing about separation of church and state is to allow peeps to choose what ever denomination they choose; that none impose over the other. It has nothing to do with putting down religion. They ought to put this whole thing to a public referendum. smokersodysseycom

    1. Wratchet says:

      hate to break it to you, but Thomas Jefferson said “I don’t care if my neighbor believes in 20 Gods or NO Gods, it does me no harm nor picks my pocket”

      From one of our founding fathers saying he doesn’t care if someone else is an Atheist. Church and State Separation means religion should be a PRIVATE and PERSONAL matter, not imposing its will upon others.

      Most of our founders were Agnostic and were very suspicious of any organized religion. John Adams for example was an Atheist.

  7. Philosopher says:

    “I would imagine that the devout Christians who oppose gay marriage would also oppose the fact that I eat meat on Fridays during Lent and do as I please on Sundays—and treat Christmas like it’s my birthday party.” Listen to how silly this is! You don’t even check facts; how many Christian denominations abstain from meat on Lenten Fridays??? And WHO cares if YOU don’t go to religious services on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday??? I know this is a personal-opinion-from-Nebraska blog, but you’re over 12. I am guessing that because you’re married, though 12 is legal in some states!

    Legalizing same-sex CIVIL marriage in the tip of the ice-berg. The majority of same-sex couples are peaceful souls, but the ACT-UP types are not. The concern in the legislation is that the fanatics are going to sue to be married in synagogues, Catholic and Greek/Russian Orthodox churches, and other denominations that do not accept same-sex sacramental marriage.

    This sort of persecution by a same-sex couple has already happened in California. Two lesbians deliberately attended an IVF clinic, and sued because the Catholic doctors, already on thin theological ice for IVF, refused them. The doctors offered to pay the womens’ medical costs at any other of hundreds of clinics, but all they really wanted to do was SUE! And they won.

    Think outside your fuzzy-wuzzy ego-centric views. In many nations, religious marriages are not recognized at all; couples marry twice, once in a civil, then in a religious ceremony. That’s probably what will happen here; religious ceremonies will have to be unrecognized, unless the religious venues change their belief systems to perform same-sex ceremonies. I’m sure you think that renewed persecutions of religious people is wonderful.

    My favorite same-sex couple is James and Elizabeth Morries, married in 1946. In the 1970s James transgendered to Jan, but they never parted, despite legal divorce, and re-married a few years ago, like Sir Elton John and his partner of now over 30 years, when same-sex marriage was legalized in the UK. But not all same-sex couples are as sweet and lovable, or as good and valuable citizens.

    Try reading Plato on why Agathon and his partner are esteemed by their community. What do they do for their community? As a same-sex couple they aren’t raising little citizens for the community, but Agathon’s tragedies teach people how to be good citizens. Alcibiades, on the other hand, is despised, not because he is bisexual, but because he only focuses on his own ambitions and pleasures.

  8. Kathleen says:

    For Nina and those of you who get nasty with people who don’t believe in gay marriage – it’s “none of your [bleeping] business” that I don’t believe in it and will not change my mind. Stop being the thought police.

    1. danny says:

      It’s not about what anybody thinks. It’s called equality. I don’t care what you or anybody, liberal or conservative thinks. Thought are for you and you alone. The law has nothing to do with your argument. It’s legal for a black and white to marry, but not everyone agrees with it. So, based on your statement, if a bigot hates a particular race, he is allowed to think that way and base the laws of the land on that thought.
      Do the world a favor and read some books and expand your mind, or risk staying in the stone ages like the Taliban.

      1. Kathleen says:

        “Do the world a favor” and re-read my comment. You are putting me down for being against gay marriage. You are the typical THOUHT POLICE.

    2. Wratchet says:

      Seriously? What does THOUGHT POLICE mean? You’re going to think the way you wanna think anyways. I think what has your panties in a bunch is that public opinion is changing on this issue and you don’t like it. Therefore, THOUGHT POLICE must be to blame. Do yourself a favor. Concentrate on an issue that will actually affect your life.

  9. nathan says:

    Look at the intellect via the posts of those for and against. I rest my case.

    1. Wratchet says:

      contrary to popular opinion, a vast majority of LGBT community are defined through the relationships they have, but very few are nymphos. Personally I found Weiner’s lewd photos disgusting albeit impressive in size.

  10. Kathryn says:

    I think that it’s wonderful. We should support this 100%
    Love is love, no matter what your gender

  11. SM says:

    I think that any time two people want to make a lifelong commitment to each other, it benefits our society as a whole and our children in particular. We should support it.

  12. nathan says:

    If gay ppl want to marry and have the same divorce rate as us heterosexuals, God bless them.

  13. Milton Lee Norris says:

    Good Morning Everyone,

    I believe that it’s time that the lawmakers should listen to common sense and to the people that put them in office. It is a crucial time to listen to the human heart and understand the call of two people of the same sex and their need to marry. Perhaps one thing that would help would be to remember the call of their own hearts before asking their partner to marry them; our desire is no different. This desire is a very human urge of the heart, which only cries out to love, to be loved and help to take care of this other most important person in our lives, and to support them in every way that we can. There are many reasons why same sex marriage should be voted for; some factors include good citizenship, good parenting, good providers and good nurturers. One of the most important factors in this controversy is that same sex couples have an innate ability to love others who are not like us; I believe that this is an intrinsic part of being gay, which has allowed us to see the glass more than half full and befriend and take care of other people that aren’t like us; we only ask that we be included in this wonderful ceremony of life. Vote yes for gay marriage.

    Namaste and blessings,
    Milton Lee Norris

  14. danny says:

    Delores, stop being so dramatic and remember that this country was based on the separation of church and state. Don’t bring your fiction into the laws of the land. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  15. delores says:

    ewwww, ewwww, EWWWWW.
    Disgusting and against the laws of God !
    The whole world is going to hell in a hand basket.
    Way to go Cuomo — just because your girlfriends brother is gay,you need to support this travesty? Thinking for yourself, are ya?

Comments are closed.

More From CBS New York

Get Our Morning Briefs

Watch & Listen LIVE