Connect with us

Can Maggie Gallagher, NOM Get The NY Same-Sex Marriage Law Repealed?



Can Maggie Gallagher, NOM, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz, or, really, anyone, actually get marriage equality in New York state repealed now that Governor Cuomo has signed the right to same-sex marriage in to law? Maggie Gallagher, and her anti-gay National Organization for Marriage (NOM), have pledged “$2 million to reverse same-sex marriage in New York.” At 11:49 PM Friday, six minutes before Governor Cuomo signed into law his same-sex marriage equality bill, Gallagher — known for her hostility when on the losing side of a battle (remember Carrie Prejean, anyone?) — threatened in her National Review column that, “The GOP Will Pay a Grave Price,” and flung the tepid threat, “Consequences to be continued.” But are these the empty promises of an embattled bigot on the losing side of history? Or can an unholy trinity of Maggie Gallagher and NOM, Archbishop Dolan, and New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz — or, anyone else — actually stage an effective campaign that repeals marriage equality from New York’s same-sex couples, after they have been given equal rights, just like Prop 8 did to California?

READ: Archbishop: If Marriage Equality Law Passes NY Will Be Like North Korea

In the weeks, days, and hours leading up to Friday’s historic vote that delivered marriage equality to same-gender New York couples — by a vote in the NY State Senate of 33-29 — talk of religious “carve-outs,” religious exemptions, or, simply, state-sanctioned religious discrimination — depending on your political position on the bill — flooded the news wires. On Monday of last week, New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos told reporters the issue is not just religious carve-outs, but “severability.”

In other words, New York’s Republican lawmakers, in an unholy partnership with New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan and the Catholic Conference, were working on language to make the bill judicial hammer-​proof. Republicans and religious leaders didn’t want lawyers and “activist-judges” going back after the bill became law and removing the religious exemptions.

Could severability, also known as “no contest,” really be the key to killing marriage equality in New York? The bill indeed is judicial hammer-proof — but not in a good way. In contract law, and in law-making, severability is important. Generally, it’s beneficial to ensure that if one part of a bill or contract can be deemed invalid by a judge, the rest of the law or contract can still be in effect. Not so with the New York marriage equality bill. If a judge finds any part of the law unconstitutional or legally invalid, could same-sex marriage equality be tossed out?


“Our best deterrent to backlash is to take our well organized coalition, just coming off a victory here in the Empire State, and focus attention on national efforts to repeal federal DOMA. The more we keep our opponents on defense the better chance we have of moving forward.”


We spoke with noted New York City civil rights attorney Yetta Kurland — who currently is defending Lt. Dan Choi in his federal trial for chaining himself to the White House fence to protest Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) — about Maggie Gallagher and NOM’s prospects of being able to “reverse” Cuomo’s marriage equality law. Here’s what she told The New Civil Rights Movement, via email, literally three hours after Cuomo signed the bill.

“While of course there is always a threat of backlash from people like Maggie Gallagher and others who seek to push back efforts towards equality, it would certainly be an uphill battle for them to repeal or overturn this statute,” Kurland, founder of Kurland, Bonica, and Associates, P.C., says. “That is not to say that there won’t be efforts, unfortunately, including, potentially, efforts to exploit the ‘no contest’ clause in the statute which says if any part of the statute is found to be invalid then the entire statute is invalid.”

“But this provision was meant to deter suits against religious entities for exercising the religious exemptions of the law, and there is some question about whether or not such a clause could be enforced,” Kurland definitively states, and adds, that “unlike in California where the right to marry was created through judicial action, this was an affirmative right created through legislative action. That means the Maggie Gallagher’s of the world have the onus on them to prove that the law is somehow invalid, unconstitutional, etc.”

READ: Victim Or Victimizer? Catholic Church, Diaz’s Gay Equality Intolerance

“We are now the 6th state in a country of 50 states to have marriage equality. There is much work to be done,” Kurland reminds, and much like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stated Saturday, Kurland had the foresight to say, “our best deterrent to backlash is to take our well-organized coalition, just coming off a victory here in the Empire State, and focus attention on national efforts to repeal federal DOMA. The more we keep our opponents on defense the better chance we have of moving forward.”

Gallagher’s empty threat, at eleven minutes to the stroke of midnight Friday, was beneath the veteran professional hater of homosexuals. No doubt Gallagher and her partner in equality-fighting, NOM president Brian Brown, are licking their financial chops at the thought of all the cash that will pour in to their coffers. But the nascent, four-year old anti-gay group will need to come up with more than fake polls, lies, faded football players, and robocalls to turn the tide of public opinion in New York. No doubt, laughing or crying, they’ll be pulling out all the stops, and New Yorkers can expect even more ugliness from the anti-equality bigots from NOM, Archbishop Dolan’s Catholic Conference, and separation of church and state violators like New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


Trump Desperate to Keep Any Possible Criminal Evidence From Supreme Court: Legal Expert



Donald Trump’s decision to allow one of his lawyers to speak before a grand jury on Friday morning, instead of appealing all the way to the Supreme Court, may have been made out of fear of what the justices on the nation’s highest court might see if they reviewed the case.

According to MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin, under normal circumstances, the former president would have dragged out a legal fight over attorney-client privilege that would have kept attorney Evan Corcoran from testifying under oath about Trump’s possession of government documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort that led to the FBI showing up with a warrant.

As Rubin notes, the fact that Trump let Corcoran testify over three hours raised eyebrows.

“For one, yes, it is indeed unusual, if not unheard of, for a lawyer to be litigating against a party one day and then testifying under court-ordered examination by that same party the next one,” she wrote before suggesting Trump and his legal team were looking at the long game when he might need the predominantly conservative Supreme Court to lend him a helping hand.

RELATED: Revealed: Emails show how Trump lawyers drove Michael Cohen to turn on the president

Writing, “Trump has made clear he believes this Supreme Court — controlled by conservative justices, three of whom he appointed — owes him one,” she added, “My hunch is that Trump’s team let Corcoran’s testimony happen because of what’s likely involved in any request to pause, much less, review a crime-fraud-related ruling: the evidence.”

“Put another way, if Trump had petitioned the Supreme Court to stay Corcoran’s testimony and document production, the justices would have seen some, if not all, of what Judge Howell and the three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit have already reviewed: proof that Trump misled Corcoran and engaged in criminal conduct,” she elaborated.

Rubin went on to note that Trump would likely appeal any conviction to the Supreme Court, writing, “And for someone whose one last hope, if he is ultimately charged or tried by any of the multiple entities now investigating him, is that same Supreme Court, letting the justices see evidence of his alleged crimes now would be a bridge too far.”

“Trump can’t afford to lose the Supreme Court yet,” she suggested.

You can read more here.

Continue Reading


No TX Congressional Republican Will Say If They’re Attending Trump’s Rally in Waco – Will He Have Trouble Filling Seats?



Donald Trump‘s Saturday campaign rally in Waco, Texas, falls during the 30th anniversary of the 51-day siege that community is known for, when 86 people died after a failed ATF raid on an anti-government religious cult suspected of illegally stockpiling firearms amid allegations of sexual abuse, statutory rape, and polygamy.

Experts have been warning for a week that Trump’s choice of Waco, synonymous with violent anti-government extremism, was no accident. His rhetoric this week, including most recently Friday when he warned of “potential death & destruction” should he be indicted, has been seen as encouraging violence.

NCRM was among the first news outlets to report experts’ concerns over Trump’s choice to hold a rally in Waco during the 30th anniversary of the deadly siege.

Not a single congressional Republican from Texas will say they are attending, nor has the town’s GOP mayor, according to a report from Insider, which contacted over two dozen Republican lawmakers and other elected officials.

“None of the 30 Texas Republicans Insider contacted about the event said they were going,” Insider reveals.

“Most of the 30 GOP members contacted about Donald Trump’s inaugural visit to the site of a 30-year-old standoff between cult leader David Koresh and federal authorities did not respond to requests for comment about whether they intended to rally with the scandal-plagued candidate and perhaps say a few kind words,” Insider reports.

“Rep. Pete Sessions, a Waco native who now represents the surrounding 17th congressional district, praised Trump for shining a light on his hometown but said he’d have to miss the spectacle,” Insider adds. “Aides to Rep. Troy Nehls, one of the four House Republicans from Texas who have formally backed Trump’s 2024 run, told Insider he wouldn’t be heading to Waco because of a prior commitment in Washington, DC, this weekend.”

READ MORE: ‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses

Meanwhile, in addition to guest list challenges – the campaign refused to tell Insider who the guest speakers will be – Trump may have trouble filling seats.

Mary Trump, the ex-president’s niece who opposes him, has been running a campaign to get anti-Trump Americans to “sign up” for tickets to the Saturday rally, in the hopes of being able to turn away supporters.

“Donald has a rally in Waco this Saturday,” she also said via Twitter. “It’s a ploy to remind his cult of the infamous Waco siege of 1993, where an anti-government cult battled the FBI. Scores of people died. He wants the same violent chaos to rescue him from justice.”

“But we can stop him. If we book the 50,000+ venue, we can make sure most of the seats are empty when the traitor takes the stage,” she said. “We can no longer fail to hold powerful men accountable for their crimes against our country.”

Image via Shutterstock

Continue Reading


‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses



Countless GOP lawmakers over the years have professed ignorance over Donald Trump’s tweets as reporters ask them to respond, often claiming they hadn’t read them, but House Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan took that performance to a whole new level Friday afternoon.

NBC News senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur asked the Ohio Republican congressman to weigh in on Trump’s social media post threatening “potential death & destruction” if he gets indicted.

“Jordan said he hasn’t seen Trump’s post,” Kapur said via Twitter. “When I showed [it] to him on my phone, he said he can’t read well without his glasses.”

“He added he’s reviewing DA Bragg’s letter,” Kapur added.

READ MORE: ‘Big Shoe Drops’: Bad Day for Trump on Multiple Fronts in Special Counsel’s Grand Jury Probes

Jordan, who didn’t need glasses to appear on Fox Business just two days ago (photo) is getting blowback.

VICE News Deputy DC Bureau Chief Todd Zwillich explained the progression.

“The stages of ignoring incitement,” he tweeted. “2016: I don’t respond to tweets —> 2018: I havent seen the tweet —-> 2023: I literally can’t see the tweet.”

“Utter cowardice,” declared former GOP Congressman Joe Walsh. “Not at all the @Jim_Jordan I knew & served with in Congress 10 yrs ago. Or…maybe it is.”

“The sheer dishonesty and cowardice of these people,” lamented MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, echoing Walsh’s remarks.

Government watchdog group Citizens for Ethics said the “extent to which Trump’s backers in Congress are going to not condemn [his] calls for violence are ludicrous.”

RELATED: Ninth Wrestler Comes Forward to Say Jordan ‘Snickered’ When He Complained of Sexual Abuse: Report

Some tied Jordan’s inability to see the post to his apparent inability to see or remember all the Ohio State wrestlers who say they complained to Jordan when he was their assistant coach, about being sexually harassed or assaulted by the team doctor. To this day despite numerous reports and people publicly coming forward, Jordan denied it ever happened.

“Apparently, Jim Jordan is unable to see wrestlers being sexually abused or Donald Trump social media posts,” attorney and Republican turned Democrat Ron Filipkowski tweeted.

“Well, @Jim_Jordan has shown before that he has trouble seeing threats right in front of his nose, so this checks out,” tweeted historian Kevin M. Kruse.

But Jordan’s Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee may have served up the best response: “Why do you need your glasses to condemn violence @Jim_Jordan?”

READ MORE: ‘Pits Parents Against Parents’: House Republicans Pass Anti-LGBTQ Florida-Style K-12 ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’




Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.