Friday, February 04, 2005

Et Tu, York?

According to the AP wires, New York State Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling-Cohan ruled that discrimination by gender in marriage is unconstitutional. If upheld, this would make New York the second state to legalize same-sex marriages. The NYC Law Department has just received the decision and not decided whether to appeal. Her order applies to NYC and unless appealed could affect the entire state.

Her ruling was on a suit by five same-sex couples denied marriage licenses.

That state's Attorney General Eliot Spitzer issued advisory opinions 11 months ago that:
  1. New York did not permit issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples
  2. However, same-sex couples married in other states, or in this case, Massachusetts, would be recognized as married in New York.
Last December, in Albany, a different State Supreme Court judge in a similar case said plaintiffs were not being denied due process or equal protection in the same circumstances. This suggests a higher court battle in the state. Also, conservative Governor George Pataki is on record saying that his interpretation of his state's law is that marriage is between a man and a woman.

It could be an interesting Spring and Summer in New York.

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