AG Schneiderman Asks Court To Toss New York Anti-Gay Marriage Suit
ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York’s attorney general asked a state court on Friday to throw out a lawsuit challenging the gay marriage law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June.
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and several other opponents of the law sued on July 25, claiming in part that the law should be nullified because the state Senate violated its own rules and the state’s open meetings law before the critical vote that led to its narrow passage.
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.
Schneiderman has asked for a hearing on Oct. 17 at the Livingston County Courthouse.
The law making New York the sixth and largest state to allow gay marriage was passed June 24 after days of protests on both sides at the state Capitol and followed a month later by hundreds of weddings from New York City to Buffalo, also marked by demonstrations on both sides.
The bill was adopted on the last day of the legislative session after a series of closed-door negotiations that opponents said ran afoul of the open meetings law. Their lawsuit also claims Gov. Cuomo improperly waived the three-day waiting period between a bill’s introduction and a vote. Such waivers are common in Albany for negotiated bills.
They also targeted maneuvers in the Senate that led to a quick vote amid little debate as two key undecided Republicans dramatically announced they would support the measure, leading to its passage 33-29 in the GOP-controlled chamber.
In his motion to dismiss, Schneiderman relies heavily on the separation of powers to argue the court shouldn’t get involved in matters “wholly internal” to the legislature. He also contends the various meetings between executive and legislative branch members, lobbyists and other interested parties were proper under the open meetings law.
He said the law doesn’t violate the state Constitution and the plaintiffs in the lawsuit didn’t suffer “any actionable injury whatsoever” when it was passed.
The Rev. Duane Motley, leader of the conservative Christian group New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, did not immediately return a call from the Associated Press seeking comment Friday evening.
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