A lawsuit seeking to overturn New York's landmark marriage equality law can proceed given claims that private meetings between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Senate Republicans may have violated state laws, according to reports.
As the New York Daily News is reporting, Livingston County state Supreme Court Judge Robert Wiggins, a Republican, stressed he was not voicing his opinion on same-sex marriage, but simply ruling on the procedures followed by the Legislature in passing the bill.
"It is ironic that much of the state's brief passionately spews sanctimonious verbiage on the separation of powers in the governmental branches, and clear arm-twisting by the Executive on the Legislative permeates this entire process," Wiggins wrote. "There are not sufficient facts before the court to determine the matter; thus, the case shall proceed on this issue."
The lawsuit, filed by New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, also alleges that financial support was promised to win Republican votes, the bill bypassed senate committees, and Cuomo unjustifiably issued a message of necessity to expedite the vote and avoid the normal three-day waiting period for a bill, according to The Advocate.
The judge slammed Cuomo for pushing through the bill without the three-day process, but because the Senate voted to accept the "message of necessity" and pass the bill quickly on the night of June 24, he said he has no legal force to rule against the maneuver, Buffalo News reports.
Rev. Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, told the Daily News he was pleased by the decision. "We have said all along that we look forward to our day in court. Now we will have it. The legality of our legislative process must be protected."