Today, Theodore B. Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, lead co-counsel for the American Foundation for Equal Rights and the country’s most prominent challenge to bans on marriage for gay and lesbian Americans, issued the following statement regarding the pending marriage equality bill in New York.
“Conservatives should support the Governor’s marriage equality bill. Equality under the law, nurturing strong families, and religious freedom are bedrock conservative values, and the Governor’s bill promotes them all.
“The bill finally ends the State of New York’s demeaning treatment of gay men and lesbians as second-class citizens unworthy of the institution of civil marriage. It stabilizes and strengthens New York families headed by gay men and lesbians by allowing them to marry, delivering untold benefits to the thousands of children raised by those parents. And the bill protects religious freedom by ensuring that religious institutions will not be required to perform marriages contrary to their beliefs.
“As a lifelong Republican and conservative, I support this legislation. New Yorkers who believe in freedom, respect family values and cherish religious liberty should embrace it as well.”