NY’s highest court strikes down move to reverse Marriage Equality Act
New York's highest court won't hear a lawsuit filed by a group hoping to strike down New York's Marriage Equality Act. The decision marks the end to a contentious legal battle that could have overturned the law. YNN's John Wagner spoke with a couple, who say they're relieved.
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BEACON, .Y. -- In eight years working as a Roman Catholic Chaplain in New York City's St. Vincent hospital, Jim Rooney saw long time same-sex couples unable to make legal decisions for each other in poor health, before watching the law change last year.
"You have now people who have been in a faithful commitment to one another are now saying we have the rights to look after my partner," said Rev. Jim Rooney, Beacon Hermitage.
Rooney left his work in the ministry and moved to Beacon where he officiates marriages.
“St. John said ‘God is love,’ and that's the premise I go by,” said Rev. Rooney.
He now feels secure that same-sex couples will continue to hold those benefits, after a lawsuit filed by New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms was struck down by the state Court of Appeals. The conservative group alleged that legislators violated open-meetings law before voting for same-sex marriage.
"It's something that should not be taken for granted," said Adrian Roldan, a Beacon resident.
Governor Andrew Cuomo celebrated the court’s decision, saying the freedom to marry in this state is secure for generations to come. But the group leading the lawsuit says they're disappointed, but not surprised by what they call rogue legislators and activist courts rejecting the will of the people. They will now work to defeat legislators in favor of the law.
"For the other states, it depends the tone the next presidency sets," said Roldan.
Now that the only major threat to New York's marriage law is blocked, same-sex advocates say time will become momentum.
"The more people experience other couples in a committed relationship who are trying their best to live in this world, things will get better," said Rev. Rooney.
More than 10,000 same-sex couples have married since the law changed in July last year.