Thursday, May 29, 2008

New York state may recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages

The new governor David Patterson of New York State (Democratic) has ordered that state agencies recognize same-sex marriages performed according to the laws of other states (Massachusetts and California, so far).

Patterson took office as governor when Elliot Spitzer resigned after being nabbed in a prostitution scandal.

An organization called “New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms,” which calls itself “New York’s only Christian lobby organization, lobbying on religious, family and moral issues” has tried to mount opposition, claiming that Patterson is circumventing the law. The website reference is brief, blunt, and not too “intellectual”; it reads like an example of what I talked about at the beginning of yesterday’s posting. The link is here.

It’s not clear how Patterson’s order may relate to the Full Faith and Credit clause in the Constitution, or to the 1996 DOMA law.

As it stands now, California may start recognizing same-sex marriages June 17, CNN story here.

Update: May 31

The New York Times
reports in a story by Jesse McKinley,"States Seek Delay in California Marriage Ruling" up to ten states, including Michigan, Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Arizona and Utah have asked the California state supreme court to stay is implementation of its ruling sometime before marriages are recorded as early as June 17. Indeed, the attorneys general of the states fear that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act would not stand up to constitutional challenge if a same-sex couple in one of their states married in California and returned to the state, expecting the marriage to be recognized legally in the home state. The link is here.

Update: June 3

USA Today reports "Suit aims to stop N.Y. recognition of gay marriages," in a suit in state department to which several Bronx Republicans are party, link here.

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