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Guild Condemns Rulings of NY Court on Gay Marriage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, July 10, 2006

The National Lawyers Guild Condemns the Rulings of New York High Court on Gay Marriage

New York. The National Lawyers Guild strongly opposes the New York Court of Appeals ruling upholding the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. The Guild believes that everyone should be entitled to equal protection under the law, which includes affording the same status, privileges and protections that exist for heterosexual couples to same-sex partnerships.

The judiciary traditionally understands that a fundamental right is one that must be made available to all citizens equally. It therefore reflected especially dubious reasoning when the Court acknowledged marriage as a fundamental right but then limited that concept to marriages between a man and a woman. Such a tautology undermines the very essence and value of the concept of fundamental rights.

"The constitutional guarantee for liberty means that any couple should have the right to enjoy the benefits of marriage and the opportunity to raise children within a family if they choose to do so. The New York court's assumption that current law promotes stability in opposite-sex couples is belied by experience, as reflected in the divorce rate, and its conclusion that 'common sense' suggests that children are necessarily better off with opposite sex parents reflects prejudice rather than reason." said NLG president Michael Avery.

The NLG is particularly troubled by the court's willingness to put a judicial imprimatur on bigotry, with its assertion that children raised in same-sex households will be worse off than children raised by a man and a woman—an assertion that has been roundly discredited by every serious study to examine this question.

“It is because of homophobia and intolerance that it is harder for children to grow-up with same-sex parents in this society. There is no evidence to suggest that a family with male and female parents is an inherently more beneficial experience for children. There are many people living and loving in this country and constructing their families in ‘non-traditional’ ways and the government should recognize their experiences.” said National Legal Worker VP, Mel Campagna said.

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