Governor Orders State Agencies to Recognize Gay Marriages
By WBFO News
Albany, NY – Governor David Paterson says New York will recognize gay marriages legally performed in other states and countries.
At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Paterson said he's simply upholding the law in the wake of an Appellate Court ruling that there is no legal barrier to such recognition.
"This is not an end run around the Legislature," Patterson said. "I am following the law as it always has existed."
Paterson's decision to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere is being praised by gay rights activists.
"This is a milestone in the fight for fairness in New York," New York Civil Liberties Union executive director Donna Lieberman said in a statement. "Couples in New York who have never known true security for their families will be officially entitled to treatment by our state government that respects their rights."
But State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, who opposes gay marriage, is questioning the legality of Paterson's action.
The Rev. Duane Motley of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms said the Democrat "slapped the people in the face by circumventing their representatives," while New York's Catholic bishops said "just as the state cannot declare a man to be a 'mother' or a woman to be a 'father,' it can not declare a same-sex union to be a 'marriage."