Friday, June 24, 2011

Religious Wording Agreed Upon: Non-Severability Clause Attached

      Both sides of the marriage equality issue in New York State have come to an agreement on the religious exemptions to be included in the bill. To those who have not been following this bill, the "lack of religious exemptions" is what has supposedly caused the vote on the bill to be delayed for so long. The text of the religious exemption amendments can be found here.


     But there is one caveat to this issue; the bill contains a non-severability clause. This clause means that the legislation must be taken together as a whole, and that one part of it cannot be struck down by the judiciary while leaving the rest of the bill intact. This has many equality activists worried, as they say that some of the exemptions may be "unconstitutional" in their scope. The non-severability clause reads as such...

5-A. THIS ACT IS TO BE CONSTRUED AS A WHOLE, AND ALL PARTS OF IT ARE
TO  BE  READ  AND CONSTRUED TOGETHER.   IF ANY PART OF THIS ACT SHALL  BE ADJUDGED BY ANY COURT OF  COMPETENT  JURISDICTION  TO  BE  INVALID,  THE REMAINDER OF  THIS  ACT SHALL BE INVALIDATED.   NOTHING HEREIN     SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO AFFECT TE PARTIES' RIGHT TO APPEAL THE MATTER

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