Gay marriage may be stalled in N.Y. and N.J.
(from the November 27, 2009 Washington Times)
The state-to-state attempt to legalize gay marriage across the left-leaning Northeast has lost more momentum since a setback three weeks ago at the ballot box in Maine.
Since then, legislatures in New York and New Jersey have declined to schedule long-expected votes on bills to recognize the unions in those states.
“If they are unable to pass gay marriage in New York and New Jersey, combined with the loss in Maine, it will confirm that gay marriage is not the inevitable wave of the future,” said Maggie Gallagher, president of the National Organization for Marriage, which mobilizes social conservatives to fight against same-sex marriage.
Gay rights activists insist that’s not the case and say hope is still alive.
“In any civil rights struggle, there are going to be periods of creeping and periods of leaping,” said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry.
This decade has had some of both across the country. The most significant was the leap the issue made from abstraction to reality in 2003 when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that gay couples had the right to get married.
The fallout was widespread: Thirty states have amended their constitutions to specify that marriage can only be between a man and a woman; all but three of those amendments were adopted since the Massachusetts ruling.
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