First Lawsuit to Overturn Marriage Equality in New York Already Stymied


The day after New York State started joyfully hosting weddings between couples of the same gender, religious groups brought a lawsuit against the state legislature in an attempt to throw out the law that made these marriages possible. Attacking Governor Cuomo’s Marriage Equality Act, a group of clergymen sued with the claim that legislators violated the Open Meetings Law during deliberations on the bill. The Virginia-based lawyer for New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms griped specifically that swing vote Republicans turned off their cell phones on the day of the historic vote. It seems to be the first suit to attack the law, even though it was passed over a month ago.

The irony in the case was pointed out by the Albany Times-Union, which noted that the Open Meetings Law has broad exceptions, which were crafted by the legislature in the mid-eighties as a response to the nosy prying of one capital reporter in particular. Fred Dicker, who hosts a radio show and writes a column for the conservative New York Post, had been trying to gain access to Democratic caucus meetings in 1985. His efforts spurred the speedy passage of a law that protected private conferences. The Post came out against gay marriage in the weeks leading up to the act’s passage, so it’s sort of funny that the paper would play such a key role in upholding the law. And also, on a larger scale, it’s fitting that one of the most plugged-in reporters in Albany is partially responsible for the maddening opaqueness of it all.

How Fred Dicker derailed the gay marriage suit [NYP]