New York State Faith Groups Respond to Unified Gay Push for Marriage Rights

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No doubt realizing that gay groups got out ahead on the narrative coming into the fight for marriage equality by announcing that they've banded together and allied with the powerful governor, Andrew Cuomo, conservative religious groups have told the Times that they, too, are forming an alliance — to oppose legalizing marriage rights for gay couples. Here's what they've been up to:

Religious opponents of same-sex marriage ... have already begun using church bulletins, diocesan newspapers and sermons from the pulpit to encourage their followers to contact legislators and let them know how they feel. They make a two-tiered argument. First, they cite biblical injunctions against homosexuality. Second, they warn that social services, like foster care and adoption, provided by religiously sponsored charities could be endangered by the legalization of same-sex marriage.

The religious groups, through their far-reaching organization and regular meetings, are a potent force. And they're backed by the National Organization for Marriage, which has already unleashed 500,000 robocalls to various State Senate swing districts urging constituents to call their representatives over the issue. From the Times:

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., a Democrat from Queens who has voted against the bill in the past but said he was undecided this time, said, “We’ve gotten about 400 calls and e-mails from voters in the last two weeks, the vast majority of them opposed to the bill.” Mr. Addabbo said he kept count because he planned to cast a vote on the bill that “reflects the will of my constituents.”

Last time around, when a marriage-equality bill came up in the State Senate in 2009, the NOM spent half a million on New York state. This year they're prepared to spend that and more.

Faith Groups Campaign to Block Gay Marriage [NYT]