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In May, with a gay-marriage bill stalled in the State Senate, Governor David Paterson directed that same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions be recognized by the State. This effectively gave gay-married couples rights equivalent to those of straight husbands and wives. State Senators Martin Golden and Serphin Maltese, Arizona’s Alliance Defense Fund, and several others filed suit against the Governor.
Yesterday Justice Lucy A. Billings of State Supreme Court in the Bronx upheld the executive order, reports the New York Times.
“The Governor’s directive is an incremental but important step toward equality long denied, even if, according to the New York Court of Appeals, full equality is not constitutionally mandated,” Billings wrote.
The Alliance is pissed. In a press release, it offers a “clarification” to its readers that “This is a lower court in New York even though it is called the ‘Supreme Court.’ It is not the highest state court of appeal in New York.” After addressing the aspect of Billing’s decision that rested on the State’s “conspicuous” failure to act on same-sex marriage, the release quotes the Alliance’s lawyer: “If you define marriage for yourself and something from somewhere else conflicts with your definition of marriage, it’s redundant and unnecessary to declare that you’re not going to recognize that out-of-state (policy).”
If you need another reason to be happy about this, the Washington Post today reports from gay-marriage mecca Massachusetts that a “32,000 same-sex couples are likely to come to the state to marry over the next three years, pumping about $111 million into the economy.” Maybe someday New York can get a piece of that action.
Image adapted from a Flickr photo by bobster1985 under a Creative Commons license.