Sunday morning marked an amazing day in the fight for equality in the gay and lesbian community. Starting at 12:01 a.m., members of the gay and lesbian community in New York were getting married. Hundreds of couples from all over the state rose early, put on matching outfits, and walked, drove, rode trains, and pushed wheelchairs to their County Clerk’s offices to finally take their marriage vows; tie the knot; take the plunge. Many had been waiting decades for the opportunity. So many couples wanted to marry in New York City, in fact, that the city had to create a lottery system in order to be fair.
The city and state officials also tried to be fair in another way. Judges around the state waived the mandatory 24-hour waiting period normally required before a couple can be married after applying for a license. This particular fact, in addition to the fact that marriage equality is now the law of the land in New York, has State Senator Ruben Diaz (D) seeing only one color of the rainbow at the moment: Red.
Before an audience of thousands in the streets of New York, Sunday, he declared war on newlyweds. “We’re going to show them next week that everything they did today was illegal. Today we start the battle! Today we start the war!” he said, in Spanish, to the gathered right-wing masses.
There is only one way to describe the behavior of Senator Diaz. Tacky. That goes for Maggie Gallagher and all the other protester’s, as well.
We get it. As a lesbian living in America, I understand that they feel threatened. I understand that for some reason their God probably doesn’t even understand, they believe that my marriage, or the marriage of anyone else who happens to be gay, is going to negate their own. I understand that they have the right to peaceably assemble according to the First Amendment, and like all Americans, they have the right to be as tacky as they want to be — up to and including making ridiculous, empty threats and claims that the marriages aren’t legal, after all.
Senator Diaz Honestly Believes the Marriages Aren’t Legal
He’s wrong about that, by the way. But here is his basis for the claim:
Sen. Diaz believes that the judges who officiated Sunday’s marriage ceremonies broke the law by waiving the waiting periods without good cause. When I asked Mark Botnick of the New York City’s Mayor’s office about this particular school of thought, he stated, “[The people getting married] have been waiting for years for this. They have experienced hardship already. They had family in town for the occasion, and this met the terms of the application to waive the waiting period.”
I couldn’t agree more. I knew this was the reason the judges chose to be human, even kind, and allow the weddings to happen the same day the law went into effect. Anyone with a heart and a soul would understand this, as well, and not speak with such unbelievable hatred as Sen. Diaz has. I have yet to find evidence that people like Sen. Diaz, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown and others actually have hearts and souls, and this may explain why they can behave as they do.
The facts of the matter are simple. If Sen. Diaz is successful in his bid to have the unions Sunday in New York annulled (which isn’t likely, since he’ll be bringing the matter before the very judges who issued the waivers), he will have succeeded only in taking money out of the pockets of the men and women who got married. They will reapply for a new license. They will wait the 24 hours. They will get married. Sen. Diaz can’t stop that from happening, but he can waste the time and money of all parties involved if that is what he chooses to do. (Which he might very well try to do, because he has his tacky-streak to keep up with.)
The judges who performed the ceremonies Sunday in New York are heroes who make much better use of their time. All of the judges donated their time on Sunday, July 24, 2011, to see a great wrong righted. In Utah, July 24 is “Pioneer Day”. As a lesbian, and an Utahan, I am happy to share this day with the people of New York.
Anti-gay marriage rallies as NY ceremonies begin, By George M. Walsh, Associated Press
Mark Botnick, NYC Mayor’s Press Office, Personal Interview
More from this Contributor:
The Slippery Slope of Marriage Equality
Why You Can’t Vote on Whom I Choose to Marry
Are Gay Couples Happier than Straight Couples?