NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — Opponents of New York's gay marriage law filed the first lawsuit challenging the measure, an anticipated salvo that came Monday as dozens of same-sex couples exchanged vows in a group ceremony overlooking Niagara Falls a day after the first gay weddings.
A representative of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and a rabbi said in a lawsuit filed in state court that New York's Senate violated its own procedures and the state's open meetings law when it approved the bill last month.
The lawsuit says that the Senate prevented lawmakers who opposed the bill from speaking and that the Senate didn't follow procedures that require a bill to go through appropriate committees before a full Senate vote.
Opponents of the gay marriage law had promised lawsuits.
"We should have an open and deliberative process," said the Rev. Jason McGuire, executive director of NYCF. "If truly the legislation can stand on its own merits then it should be able to withstand being deliberated publicly."
Spokesmen for Senate Republicans and the state's attorney general declined to comment.
Hundreds of gay couples got married starting Sunday as New York became the sixth and largest state to legalize same-sex weddings. Ceremonies were held around the state, mostly in New York City, where the day's celebration was tempered by a protest in which thousands of opponents marched to the United Nations.
On Monday, a mass wedding in Niagara Falls saw 46 same-sex couples exchange vows, and 100 more couples were expected to marry en masse at Bethpage State Park on Long Island today.