N.Y. Legislature Showed ‘Profound Failure of Moral Courage’ in Redefining Marriage

By Susan Jones | June 27, 2011 | 7:11 AM EDT

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo salutes as he arrives for a news conference after the state Senate passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., on Friday, June 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

(CNSNews.com) – As homosexuals make plans to legally marry in New York, conservative activists are singling out New York State senators – especially Republicans – for caving in to political pressure.

The Republican-controlled New York Senate voted 33-29 in support of same-sex marriage on Friday, with four Republicans finally joining Democrats to get the stalled bill passed.

This is the first time a Republican-controlled legislative chamber in any state has supported same-sex marriage.

The New York Legislature showed “a profound failure of moral courage,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said after the Legislature passed the bill making New York the sixth and largest state to allow same-sex marriage.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, happily signed the bill just before midnight on Friday.

“A clear majority of the people of New York oppose counterfeit 'marriage,' but Gov. Cuomo and anti-family lawmakers have shown that their allegiance is to a small but vocal minority seeking to redefine marriage and family,” Perkins said.

"While it was the Democrats who were pushing this agenda, it is the Republicans in the N.Y. Senate who ultimately allowed this to happen, especially Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos,” Perkins said in a news release. He also singled out as “heroes” several Republican senators who “worked tirelessly” for the families of New York.

"The New York State Legislature's denial of its citizens a chance to vote on the issue of marriage shows it is long overdue that the U.S. Congress begin taking these threats to marriage seriously,” Perkins said. He urged Congress to put same-sex marriage to a vote of the people. Each time it happens in the states, the people reject it, he noted.

With the new law, which takes effect after 30 days, the number of Americans in same-sex marriage states more than doubles, the Associated Press noted. New York's population of 19 million surpasses the combined total of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa, plus the District of Columbia, all of which allow homosexuals to legally marry.

Brian Brown, president of the conservative National Organization for Marriage, has pledged at least $2 million in the 2012 elections to make sure Republicans understand that voting for gay marriage has consequences:

“The Republican party has torn up its contract with the voters who trusted them in order to facilitate Andrew Cuomo’s bid to be president of the U.S.,” Brown said in a news release. “Selling out your principles to get elected is wrong. Selling out your principles to get the other guy elected is just plain dumb.”

Brown and other conservatives warn that “gay marriage” has consequences for the next generation, for parents, and for religious people, institutions and small business owners.

“Politicians who campaign one way on marriage, and then vote the other, need to understand: betraying and misleading voters has consequences, too. We are not giving up, we will continue to fight to protect marriage in New York, as we are actively doing in New Hampshire and Iowa.”

(The Associated Press contributed some of the information used in this report.)