NY State Senate Gay Marriage Debate

by A. Jay Adler on June 23, 2011
Read More: , ,

It ain’t the Constitutional Convention.

The National Review Online today offers a truly bizarre joint op-ed by New York Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long and Democratic State Senator Ruben Diaz. It is bizarre because it can only be a testament to the depth of Diaz’s opposition to gay marriage that he would sign on to what is otherwise as much a full-throated partisan call for smarter Republican politics.  Produced with that mixed purpose, what is otherwise striking is how poorly argued is the case Long and Diaz make. Like just about any party to an apparently losing argument, the two representative legislators forget all about the republican nature of American government and its representative democracy by calling for a direct democratic referendum on the issue. They offer, in fact, at the outset, only one reasoned argument on the issue.

Same-sex marriage is a government takeover of an institution the government did not create and should not redefine.

via If the NY Senate Passes Gay Marriage, It’s Republicans Who Will Take the Heat – By Ruben Diaz & Michael Long – The Corner – National Review Online.

Is that really the best they can do? Indeed, the government should not redefine religiously – for religious institutions – what such institutions as a matter of doctrine and faith may consider marriage, or in regard to any other issue. However, since marriage is also a civil institutions, civilly sanctioned in law – and in that representation, indeed created by the government – government has the right and even the proper function, when it may deem it appropriate, to reconsider and even redefine marriage, just as it might any other civil institution.

I hope they’re better with budgets…

Enhanced by Zemanta

4 comments

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

charlie k June 23, 2011 at 11:22 am

Goddamn it, Adler…there you go again cynically attacking a morality based stand by NY’s courageous legislators to protect the holy institution of marriage from a “gay” trampling!!!!!!!!!

Reply

Rob June 23, 2011 at 10:56 am

As to budgets, I used to work for the NYS Assembly. One year they were actually close to completing work on a budget by the April 1 deadline. But as it dragged out late into the night of March 31, it became clear the budget would be late once again and that particular session went on and on into the afternoon of April 1. But due to an arcane rule, even though it was the afternoon of the 1st, technically, since they had never gaveled out of session the night before, it was still the 31st and the budget was still on-time. Finally, admitting defeat, the Democratic majority gaveled out and gaveled back in sometime that afternoon. There were tear-off calendars on either side of the chamber, and the Seargants-at-arms tore them off to reveal the date of April 1. For a reason that escapes me now, the Republicans, in some sort of symbolic protest, retrieved from the trash the piece of calendar on their side of the chamber that said March 31 and taped it back up. The Democrats promptly had it taken back down. That’s the New York State Legislature in a microcosm; one famed for it’s annual late budgets and complete dysfunction.

They banned all-night sessions a few years ago, but when I was there, staff and legislators used to have a pool to predict at what hour the last day/night of session would end because it was accepted that they’d usually work for about 30 hours straight at that point. So much so that Chuck Schumer started a humorous tradition in the Assembly of welcoming a fake elementary school class to the chamber at 4AM. A great Assemblyman and truly thoughtful Democratic legislator named Dan Feldman carried on the tradition when I worked there. I mention him because he ran in the primary for Schumer’s congressional seat ultimately won by Anthony Weiner. Unfortunately, Feldman was not bombastic enough to match Weiner.

Anyway, Diaz and Long doing this doesn’t surprise me in the least.

Reply

A. Jay Adler June 23, 2011 at 11:27 am

Rob, fun history, insight, and color. I’m not sure who got there first – maybe the NY legislature – but it sounds very much like the U.S. Congress now.

Reply

Rob June 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm

The politics in New York have always been cut-throat, but there was a general sense of collegiality between members of different parties. Even when a Republican had to ‘kill’ one of my bills, they were pretty gracious. I even worked closely with a State Senator’s office who was the Conservative Party Chair before Michael Long. And believe it or not, we got some good domestic violence and animal rights bills done. But I think that collegiality has certainly been diminished, both in New York and in Congress. And not for nothing, I won the end-of-session pool one year and was handed a big wad of $1 bills signed by staffers and legislators, D’s and R’s, alike. That wouldn’t happen today, least of all because they ended all-nighters. The atmosphere is just very different. And it’s too bad because breakfast was on me that morning.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: