California | David Paterson | Gay Marriage | New York | News

NY Gov Orders Same-Sex Unions Performed Elsewhere Valid

Taking one step further a February court ruling issued by a New York Appellate Court in Rochester that said the state must recognize a same-sex marriage performed in Canada and provide health benefits to a woman's same-sex partner, Governor David Paterson on May 14 issued an order to state agencies that same-sex marriages performed in MA, CA, Canada, or anywhere else they are legal, must be recognized in New York state on equal legal terms as heterosexual marriages.

PatersonThe NY Times: "The revisions are most likely to involve as many as 1,300 statutes and regulations in New York governing everything from joint filing of income tax returns to transferring fishing licenses between spouses. In a videotaped message given to gay community leaders at a dinner on May 17, Mr. Paterson described the move as 'a strong step toward marriage equality.' And people on both sides of the issue said it moved the state closer to fully legalizing same-sex unions in this state."

Paterson's move brings New York one step closer to legalizing same-sex marriage itself. A measure put forth by Eliot Spitzer last year that would have done so was passed by the assembly but blocked by the Republican led senate.

In related news, California announced that it will begin marrying same-sex couples in the state on June 17.

Some of you may remember the funny and eloquent speech he gave at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Leadership Awards dinner on April 7 on the subject.

I've posted it again, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. While this is a start, New York still has a long way to go. And New York's gay community is not blameless, either. I've noticed an extraordinary number of New York gays who are more interested in taking drugs and attending parties than in fighting for the right to a civil marriage.

    Parties and drug-taking do not bring you civil rights. Get a grip and develop a sense of priorities, for Pete's sake.

    Posted by: jason | May 29, 2008 8:07:05 AM

  2. This gay New Yorker, who has been partnered for almost 20 years, is heading to CA in August to get married.

    Kudos to Paterson, and to ESPA for being such an effective lobbying force in NY. We have to use our voices and, perhaps even more importantly, our money to be the political force we need to be.

    Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 8:11:43 AM

  3. Cool

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | May 29, 2008 8:24:05 AM

  4. Can you marry in California if you're not a resident?

    Posted by: Bobby | May 29, 2008 9:09:06 AM

  5. Yes, Bobby. There are no residency requirements for marriage in California.

    I am beyond overjoyed at this development in my adopted state of New York.

    Posted by: rudy | May 29, 2008 9:29:17 AM

  6. YAY! I have two very close friends in NYC that got married in Montreal last year that now have a valid NY marriage!

    Posted by: jeff | May 29, 2008 10:42:14 AM

  7. Jason nice to know you think everyone should have to same priorities that you do.

    News flash hun: different people focus on different things. What you deem important others might not - imagine that!

    So how about you get off the cross, someone needs the wood.

    Posted by: Derek | May 29, 2008 10:56:10 AM

  8. This could start a panic in Chelsea.

    Transfer of fishing licenses? Who knew?

    Posted by: anon | May 29, 2008 11:20:36 AM

  9. This is a rather sneaky way to "backdoor" same-sex marriage in New York.

    Gov. Patterson knows Joseph Bruno (and the NYS Senate Republicans) would never vote for same-sex marriage, so he's trying to make it a "fait accomplis" through California.

    Since California lacks a residency requirement, it is far easier for New Yorkers to get married there than in Massachusetts.

    Posted by: John | May 29, 2008 11:31:28 AM

  10. According to a news report this morning, the NY State Senate may allow a vote on gay marriage. Bruno may be retiring and he may want to go out with some dignity. Also, the Repugs only have a two vote majority in the Senate and all signs are pointing to the Dems taking over. The thinking is, allow gay marriage and don't look so repuglican and maybe the moderates will get re-elected. Either way, we get marriage rights this year, since both the Assembly and the Gov on on board, or we get it in January once the Dems take over the State Senate.

    Posted by: Will | May 29, 2008 12:53:06 PM

  11. JOHN...considering that it was widely reported in the national news media, I'd say there was nothing sneaky at all about Patterson's order that same sex marriages performed elsewhere be accorded the same legal status in New York State. And I can't imagine why a faggot would call Patterson's move a "sneaky way to 'backdoor' same-sex marriage in New York", so you, JOHN, must be a troll from some right wing site. Do us all a favor and go back to posting on whatever hideous Republican blog you usually frequent.

    Posted by: peterparker | May 29, 2008 1:06:47 PM

  12. Peterparker,

    I'm for same-sex marriage, you freakin' idiot.

    But to do it through an executive order recognizing out-of-state marriages (rather than through the legislative process or a court order) is, by definition, "backdoor." Technically, New York State has NOT legalized same-sex marriage. The governor has merely decided to circumvent the ban by having the actual ceremonies take place in California instead.

    If (read: when) the Democrats take over the State Senate, I have no doubt that New York will legalize same-sex marriage. But for the moment, the right-wing can (and will) make the argument that this executive order is legally questionable. Because it is.

    Being for same-sex marriage doesn't mean you should lose the capacity to think critically about the situation!

    Posted by: John | May 29, 2008 2:14:26 PM

  13. Um JOHN, you are aware that a New York appeals court has already ruled that same-sex marriages legally obtained outside the state must be recognized by the state of New York right?

    The only thing Paterson is doing with this "backdoor" executive order is ordering state agencies to make the necessary changes to bring the state into compliance with the ruling.

    I'm not exactly sure how you think that this is a nefarious and improper thing for the Governor to do. In fact, truth be told, I don't see that he has any other choice in the matter.

    Posted by: Zeke | May 29, 2008 2:46:09 PM

  14. Jason,
    I met my hubby at one of those drug-taking parties. So in a sense, it did lead to my right to marry.

    Posted by: crispy | May 29, 2008 3:02:59 PM

  15. That's a ruling from one appellate court out of many throughout the state.

    The government should've appealed the Supreme Court (Appellate Division) decision to the NYS Court of Appeal. Typically, the state has an obligation to defend existing law up through to the highest court. Whether the Attorney General and Governor agrees with the lower court or not is immaterial.

    Only a ruling from the state's highest court can remove any ambiguity that might exist between different appellate divisions coming to different conclusions.

    By jumping the gun, Patterson merely opens the door for more litigation. The Alliance Defense Fund, Focus on the Family, and the rest of them will almost certainly try to intervene on behalf of conservative "taxpayers."

    Posted by: John | May 29, 2008 3:03:36 PM

  16. And considering this is the same NYS Court of Appeal that ruled 4-2 against allowing same-sex marriage in 2006, there's little doubt why the Patterson administration wants to stop the legal process at the appellate level.

    He knows he's on shaky ground.

    "We hold that the New York Constitution does not compel recognition of marriages between members of the same sex. Whether such marriages should be recognized is a question to be addressed by the legislature" (Majority Opinion, Hernandez v Robles)

    Doesn't get any more clear than that. The Legislature has the sole authority to decide whether same-sex marriage is recognized. If this goes any further, the justices will almost certainly reverse this appellate court decision (following their own precedent from only two years ago). So, Patterson decided to pull the plug.

    Now, I have no problem with the outcome of his actions. But it might end up causing more trouble than it is worth. There's an election coming in November. And the Democrats have a good chance of capturing the State Senate for the first time in decades. Do we really want a pre-election backlash in upstate NY or Long Island to ruin the party's chances of securing a majority (that will probably legalize same-sex marriage anyway)?

    Posted by: John | May 29, 2008 3:29:27 PM

  17. You know PETERPARKER, I was giving JOHN the benefit of the doubt but I'm definitely starting to get the distinct scent of compassion troll in the air. He's got all the "activist blah blah blah" talking points down to a tee.

    Certainly this couldn't be STEPHEN/BEING COUNTED back with yet another strategic tack.

    Posted by: Zeke | May 29, 2008 4:50:48 PM

  18. Hey John, it was appealed to the Court of Appeals. They refused to hear it. Thus, it is a final and binding decision on the entire state.

    So go fuck off.

    Posted by: Will | May 29, 2008 5:01:19 PM

  19. I'm Stephen. Hilarious.

    No wonder why the Log Cabin Republicans think you liberals are morons. You truly are stupid idiots.

    Posted by: John | May 29, 2008 6:11:56 PM

  20. And as a lifetime Democratic voter, this is particularly amusing.

    It is precisely the sort of thing Bill Maher was talking about when he said to Danny Glover that the radical left's just as ridiculous as the right.

    You people are assholes.

    Posted by: John | May 29, 2008 6:16:39 PM

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