Last week’s news that anti-gay activists filed a lawsuit to overturn New York’s new marriage equality law and to nullify the nuptials that have happened since the law took effect July 24 brought back fond memories of the four frivolous lawsuits that were filed in the run-up to May 17, 2004, the day our Goodridge marriage ruling went into effect.
The thousands of happily married same-sex couples in the Bay State are the proof that those lawsuits were tossed out in less time than it takes to say “I do.” Without boring you with the details, they were all pretty ridiculous (you can read about them here.) The bottom line is that each of the suits was a desperate attempt to stop the first marriages of same sex couples in the country.
Not surprisingly, Liberty Counsel, the Florida-based right-wing organization that has filed suit against the New York Senate, was behind one of the suits filed in Massachusetts. Liberty is representing a group called New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, an organization that, according to its website “exists to influence legislation and legislators for the Lord Jesus Christ.” WWJD? Hire a lobbyist, apparently.
And which Liberty Counsel lawyer is representing New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms? That would be Rena Lindevaldsen, the same attorney who represented a group of anti-gay state legislators in Massachusetts who wanted to delay the implementation of Goodridge until after they had the opportunity to vote on their constituents’ right to marry. Nice try, but even the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t want to touch that one.
The LGBT blog Box Turtle Bulletin has a great piece up about the NY lawsuit, which includes some interesting tidbits and links exposing Lindevaldsen’s somewhat extreme views, including her statement at a conference hosted by the rabidly anti-gay group Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, in which she reportedly griped that she does not appreciate the separation of church and state one bit.
“When they ask me to be secular in my argumentation, they’re asking me to give up Truth. They’re asking me to give up my best weapon which is the absolute reality that I know from God,” Lindevaldsen said, according to the Friendly Atheist blog. “They’re asking me to go over onto their playing field and use their weapons that they chose for me.”
Lindevaldsen is also well known to GLAD because she is the attorney representing Lisa Miller, the woman who kidnapped her daughter Isabella and fled to Nicaragua in violation of a court order that transferred custody to Isabella’s other mother and Lisa’s ex-partner, Janet Jenkins, who is our client. The FBI arrested a Christian missionary in the case some months back. You can read more about that in our April 22 post.