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Marriage equality in New York survives court challenge

NEW YORK – Marriage equality is safe in New York state.

Today, the state Court of Appeals denied a request by an Evangelical group called New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms that sought to overturn the marriage equality law that was approved by the state legislature and signed by the governor in June 2011.

This is the second attempt to overturn the marriage law. In early July, a state appellate court dismissed the challenge by the Evangelical group that claimed that the New York state Senate had violated the Open Meetings Law when it voted to approve the law.

"With the Court’s decision, same-sex couples no longer have to worry that their right to marry could be legally challenged in this State," Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a statement. "The freedom to marry in this State is secure for generations to come."

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms officials said they would now turn their attention to a complaint filed with the state Division of Human Rights by a lesbian couple who say that Liberty Ridge Farm near Albany refused to marry them on their site because they were lesbians. The Evangelical group said it will defend the farm’s owners and will try to defeat the law, claiming the religious-freedom exemptions in the law could violate the state and U.S. constitutions.