This Fall: New York Decides Gay Marriage (From Other States)


Even though New York State has yet to legalize same-sex marriages, it has ordered all government offices to recognize them from states where they are legal. Except a spat of court rulings have, as is typical, created a murky gray area where out-of-state marriages can be valid or not depending on who you listen to. Which means the New York State Court of Appeals is going to settle the matter this year.

Of course this could all be settled if New York’s ruling Democratic party could get its shit together and grant equality for all.

On March 31, the court granted review in appeals of decisions from the 2nd and 3rd Departments of the intermediate Appellate Division, in lawsuits brought by the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), an anti-gay litigation firm.

The cases will be argued in the fall.

In Godfrey v. Spano, the Brooklyn-based Second Department of the Appellate Division affirmed a ruling that Westchester County Executive Andrew J. Spano did not exceed his authority or violate any state laws or policies when he issued a 2006 executive order directing all the governmental entities under his authority “to recognize same-sex marriages lawfully entered into outside the State of New York in the same manner as they currently recognize opposite-sex marriages.”

In a very brief ruling, the 2nd Department engaged in a sleight of hand to avoid addressing the merits of the marriage recognition issue by giving a very literal reading to Spano’s order, which directed that such recognition be accorded “to the maximum extent allowed by law.”