Sunday, June 1, 2008

New York Governor Passes Over Citizens, Legislative Process in Latest Marriage Ruling

New York Governor Passes Over Citizens, Legislative Process in Latest Marriage Ruling

WASHINGTON, May 29 /Christian Newswire/ -- A spokesperson for the Governor of New York has announced that same-sex marriages performed elsewhere will be recognized in New York in response to a New York state court ruling this year. The decision, Martinez v. County of Monroe, involved the case of a woman whose employer declined to offer benefits to her female partner even though she had been married abroad.

Gay marriage is not legal in New York and the recent ruling by the state's highest court said that same-sex marriages could only be legalized by the Legislature. Nonetheless, the ruling also said that nothing in New York law impeded the recognition of a same-sex marriage performed outside of New York.

Massachusetts, the only state to allow same-sex marriage, does not allow non-residents to marry. As a result, only California with its recent narrow court decision to legalize same-sex marriage could marry New York residents that sought such unions. However, even if California's court chooses to stay its decision for a time, same-sex marriages solemnized in Canada and other countries would be recognized in New York.

The Rev. James Tonkowich, IRD President, commented:

"Traditional marriage is being dealt yet another blow, and once again it is not coming from either the legislative process or through an initiative of the people. Rather, brazen judicial activism is telling the people what they should believe.

"It is absurd that not only will New York now be forced to recognize same-sex marriages from another state that it will not authorize itself, but it will also be forced to recognize such unions from other countries. This is a political cop-out that bypasses the will of the people in New York and the United States.

"The crisis over the definition of marriage is just another symptom of judicial activism run amok."

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