New YorkNew York's Highest Court Declines To Hear Appeal Against State's Same-Sex Marriage Law Challenge
The conservative group had sued the state's Senate over the law, alleging that Republican lawmakers violated New York's 'open meeting(s)' law when they gathered in a private closed door session last year to discuss the measure with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
A state Supreme Court judge had ruled that New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms suit could move forward, however, an Appellate court earlier this year ruled unanimously that the Senate lawmakers had adhered to the Open Meetings Law. [The law has an exemption for closed-door meetings among political conferences.] New York statutes specify that plaintiff(s) must ask permission to launch further appeal to the highest court if the Appellate ruling isn't split.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, (D), who led efforts to ensure passage of the same-sex measure last year in the legislature with bi-partisan agreement between lawmakers said Tuesday:
“Today, the New York State Court of Appeals, the highest court in the State, denied leave to appeal the validity of the Marriage Equality Act, which affords same-sex couples in this State the right to marry.
New York State has served as a beacon for progressive ideals and this statute is a clear reminder of what this State stands for: equality and justice for all. 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. The freedom to marry in this State is secure for generations to come.”Speaking on behalf of the group which launched the challenge, Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms,said;
“We are disappointed,” he said. “Essentially we now have a court that says that they are going to not serve their proper role of a check and balance on a Legislature that has gone rogue. That’s a concern.”Legal analysts in New York's capital city think that the court's refusal to hear the appeal will most likely be the end of the suit.
McGuire pointed out that although his group's suit sought to overturn the the same-sex marriage law on procedural grounds rather than constitutional grounds, he left open for the possibility for lawsuits challenging the same-sex marriage law on constitutional grounds “will begin to crop up.”
Washington D. C.
Ellen DeGeneres Awarded Mark Twain Prize for American Humour
WASHINGTON -- American comedienne Ellen DeGeneres was presented with the 15th Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humour Monday night, in a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The pre-recorded show will be telecast October 30 on PBS stations.
"The Kennedy Center is happy to recognize Ellen DeGeneres' unique contributions to the world of comedy," said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. "Through her television programs, stand-up appearances, movies, and even commercials, her special brand of humor has allowed us to find hilarity in the mundane and has kept us laughing for years."
As recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, DeGeneres received a bronze portrait bust of Mark Twain [A copy of an 1884 piece] sculpted by Karl Gerhardt. (1853-1940)
In her acceptance speech DeGeneres remarked,
"It's such an honor to receive the Mark Twain Prize. To get the same award that has been given to people like Bill Cosby, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell, it really makes me wonder… why didn't I get this sooner?" She added, “Thanks to everyone at PBS. I am so happy to be part of your farewell season,” taking a jab at GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s announcement during the first presidential debate that he intended to to stop funding public broadcasting.
The Associated Press reported:
DeGeneres, 54, began her career as a comedy club emcee in her native New Orleans. After a performance on Johnny Carson’s show in 1986, he invited her over to his desk to chat. She was the first female comedian to receive that invitation from Carson.
Turning to acting, DeGeneres landed sitcoms on Fox and ABC, eventually starring in Ellen from 1994 to 1998. She broke new ground and a taboo in 1997 when she came out publicly as a lesbian and her TV persona then became the first lead character on prime-time TV to reveal she was gay. A record 46 million viewers watched the episode.
Coming out on TV 15 years ago feels like another life, she said Monday night before the show.
“I did it because it was the right thing for me to do,” DeGeneres said. “It was the right thing for me to do to not live with shame. I happened to help a lot of people, and it happened to create a ruckus.”
ABC Late Night host Jimmy Kimmel called it a milestone.“For a lot of people, Ellen is their only homosexual friend,” he said. “She’s there in their living room every single day.”On stage, he said DeGeneres was his inspiration.“Because of Ellen, in 1998, I mustered the strength to come out of the closet — despite the fact that I’m not gay,” he joked. “Thanks to Ellen, vests aren’t just for magicians anymore.”
Ellen paved the way for future shows to feature gay characters, from Will and Grace to Modern Family.
DeGeneres in recent years has won dozens of Daytime Emmys as a result of her daily self-labeled talk show which made her one of the wealthiest women globally. Forbes magazine estimated in May that DeGeneres earned roughly $53 million last year, about the same as Rihanna and Lady Gaga. The magazine also rated her the 47th most powerful woman in the world. She’s hosted the Emmys and the Academy Awards. She has her own music label.
The Mark Twain Prize recognizes people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain. As a social commentator, satirist and creator of characters, Samuel Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly. He revealed the great truth of humor when he said "against the assault of laughter nothing can stand."