August 8, 2012
By Jacob Combs
As Poliglot reports, the anti-gay group Liberty Counsel asked Monday for New York’s highest court to review a lower court decision dismissing a lawsuit the group filed seeking to nullify the state’s marriage equality law, which was passed last summer. In the suit, the anti-gay group alleged that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other supporters of marriage equality violated the state’s open meeting law by pursuing closed-door meetings on equal marriage rights, and objected to the governor’s use of an emergency law that allowed him to waive a requirement that bills be delivered in their final printed form to legislators three days before a vote.
Liberty filed its first lawsuit directly after the June 2011 vote legalizing marriage equality in New York, and the first judge to hear the case allowed it to proceed to trial to learn more about the open meetings violation claim, saying that “clear arm-twisting by the Executive on the Legislative permeates this entire process.” But just last month, the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division issued a unanimous decision dismissing the case, holding that the meetings between Republican senators and marriage equality advocates were legal.
“In the event that we were to adopt plaintiffs’ limited definition of ‘guests,’” the opinion read, “it would be impossible for a Democratic member of a governor’s office, such as a budget director, to speak to a majority Republican caucus.”
Liberty Counsel will most likely face a steep climb at the New York State Court of Appeals as it seeks to have the marriage equality law voided. Courts are by custom loathe to take such measures after a law has been duly enacted, since a decision striking the law down would have immensely complex ramifications, both politically and logistically. In reality, Liberty Counsel’s lawsuit is more a last-ditch attempt to roll back a law that it disagrees with. Nonetheless, we’ll follow this story here at P8TT as it develops.