March 18, 2004

Another Step on the Road to Equality

I know two of the couples married on the steps of City Hall today. They both deserve to have their marriages recognized and legal. I'm loving the sight of my sometimes pastor being a renegade as well! Go Rev. Pat!!

Same-sex couples wed outside New York City Hall

By MIRIAM HILL/Philadelphia Inquirer

NEW YORK - The brides wore black and a groom cried as clerics who support same-sex marriage conducted wedding ceremonies on the steps of City Hall to try to pressure the city and state to legalize gay unions.

About 25 rabbis and ministers from various faiths assembled outside Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office as they blessed the unions of three same-sex couples.

The religious leaders said they were showing solidarity with two Unitarian Universalist ministers who face criminal charges in upstate New York for performing same-sex weddings, which Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has said state law does not now allow.

"This is a message to the world that our love matters," said Mel Bryant, 38, moments after he exchanged teary vows with his partner of five years, Bradley Curry, 40. They were attended by their Chihuahua, Seton.

Thursday's weddings were not legally sanctioned, and the couples were turned away when they sought marriage licenses from the city clerk before the ceremonies.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said in a statement that his office would take no action against the participants.

"There has been no definitive ruling from the courts on the legal and constitutional issues surrounding same-sex marriages in New York," Morgenthau said. "The criminal courts are not the appropriate forum for the resolution of these issues; ultimately they will be resolved in civil lawsuits, at least two of which are now pending."

Bloomberg said the protesters should have conducted the ceremonies in Albany, the state capital, where lawmakers have the power to legalize same-sex marriages.

"If you want to change the law," Bloomberg said, "I would suggest that a demonstration in Albany would be more effective than a demonstration at City Hall."

The Rev. Pat Bumgardner, the lesbian pastor of Manhattan's Metropolitan Community Church, said the prosecution of the Unitarian Universalist ministers, Kay Greenleaf and Dawn Sangrey, who are to be arraigned Monday on misdemeanor charges of solemnizing civil marriages without a license, was unjust.

"It's selective prosecution at best," Bumgardner said.

Ruth Finkelstein, 49, and B.C. Craig, 40, were one of two lesbian couples married Thursday. They were attended by their son, Sam Craig, 3, who, like his mothers, wore black. The other female couple wed were Montel Cherry-Slack and Michelle Cherry-Slack, both 30, who had their last names legally changed.

Said B.C. Craig: "We're doing this to make public and real our love."

Too bad our mayor is such a punk and won't even take a stand on the issue.

Posted by ronn at March 18, 2004 11:59 PM

At least take a stance. Even if you don't agree, have the balls to speak your mind. It is better than being wishy washy. Because, being wishy washy you are not even taking a stance! I respect a person who takes a stance and sounds off why he/she believes what he/she believes in rather than someone who does not take a firm stance in the first place. Posted by: Latinopundti on March 19, 2004 09:57 PM
Luis: I know Bloomberg will have a tough race next year and he doesn't want to rock the boat. But he must know he'll have everyone PO'd with his punkish stance. Like you said, at least take a position. It's worse than playing both sides of the issue. Posted by: ronn on March 20, 2004 09:13 PM