.- The New York State Catholic Conference has described the New York State Assemblyâs Tuesday vote to recognize same-sex "marriages" as a "radical social experiment" that is "terribly misguided."
The Assembly passed the same-sex "marriage" bill introduced by New York Gov. David Paterson by an 89-52 vote, with five Republicans voting in support. Gov. Paterson characterized the bill as an end to "legal discrimination against same-sex couples," according to All Headline News.
A similar bill passed the Assembly in 2007 by an 85-61 vote. It was defeated in the state Senate, which at the time was majority Republican.
Democrats now hold the state Senate by a 32-30 majority. However, Democratic Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., who is also a Pentecostal minister, is leading opposition to the bill.
The homosexual advocacy group Empire State Pride Agenda expressed optimism that the bill will pass despite the opposition. They claimed to have secured the vote of one more Republican Senator, reported AHN.
The group said the move would provide same-sex couples with "the 1,324 rights and protections" that come with a New York State marriage license.
New York State Catholic Conference executive director Richard Barnes said the Assembly vote was "not surprising but it is nevertheless disappointing."
"Marriage is the fundamental building block of our society. The state has always had a compelling interest in recognizing marriage for reasons of elementary biology," Barnes said in a statement, adding this fact was recognized in a 2006 state Court of Appeals decision.
"Marriage is not simply a mechanism with which to provide people with benefits," he continued. "By creating same-sex 'marriages,' the state is endorsing the notion that procreation is completely disconnected from marriage and that a nontraditional family structure serves a child as well as a traditional one."
"On behalf of the Catholic Bishops of New York State, we call on the state Senate in the strongest terms to reject this radical social experiment and continue to recognize marriage for what it has always been and always will be â the union of one man and one woman."