Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-11-25
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


N.Y. gov.: No gay exception on marriage recognition
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

It was front page of the New York Times and on television news broadcasts everywhere, so New York Governor David Paterson's directive that state agencies prepare to recognize same-sex marriages from other states must have been something big and new, right?

No. And yes.

What Paterson did, say gay legal activists, is declare that his administration would follow and enforce a law that already exists in the state and has for a long time. That law says that the state will recognize marriages licensed in other states, even if those marriages wouldn't be licensed in New York.

Legally, Paterson changed nothing.

But politically, the governor has made it easier for gay couples in New York who travel to Canada and ( soon ) California to obtain marriage licenses to have those licenses recognized by state agencies once they return home.

Prior to the governor's directive, say gay legal activists, some gay couples faced resistance by some state agencies. Most notorious of these was a state community college in Rochester that tried to deny benefits to a lesbian employee and her spouse, who had married in Canada. But the lesbian, Patricia Martinez, challenged the Monroe Community College's denial of benefits and won before a state appeals court last February. When the state supreme court refused to review the state's appeal, the victory was secured.

'The governor could have done nothing and it would have been more of a battle', said David Buckel, an attorney with Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, based in New York City. 'But he said, 'This is the law, make sure you're following it'.' By doing so, said Buckel, the governor is educating the state agencies and the public about the law. The result should be fewer lawsuits by couples seeking to secure their rights.

'Thousands of same-sex couples in New York have traveled to Canada and come home ... and when they say 'I'm married,' it means something real,' Buckel added.

According to the Times, Paterson started moving in this direction shortly after taking office in March, following Governor Eliot Spitzer's sudden resignation due to a prostitution scandal. The governor's legal counsel, David Nocenti, advised him that the administration should send out a memo to state agency's on how to comply with the ruling in the Martinez case in February. At Paterson's direction, Nocenti sent that memo out May 14—one day before the California Supreme Court issued its ruling in support of gay marriage.

The memo advised agencies that, in light of the Martinez case and others, stage agencies 'that do not afford comity or full faith and credit to same-sex marriages that are legally performed in other jurisdictions could be subject to liability. '

'In addition, extension of such recognition is consistent with State policy,' said the memo.

Nocenti then instructed agencies that 'it is now timely to conduct a review of your agency's policy statements and regulations, and those statutes whose construction is vested in your agency, to ensure that terms such as 'spouse,' 'husband' and 'wife' are construed in a manner that encompasses legal same-sex marriages, unless some other provision of law would bar your ability to do so. ' He asked them to alert the state by June 30 of any issues that needed to be addressed to ensure compliance.

'This is not an end run around the legislature,' said Paterson, in response to a question at a press conference about the directive. 'If the legislature wanted to take an action, it could. But the legislature has not provided for marriage equality here in New York. I'm an advocate for it, but that's not the reason I came to this conclusion. I am taking the same approach that this state always has with respect to out of state—I'm following the law as it always has existed.'

Paterson spent some of the press conference explaining in great detail and considerable eloquence by domestic partnerships don't measure up to marriage.

Evan Wolfson, head of the national Freedom to Marry organization, agrees. He says the governor's directive means less 'case by case wrangling' over how the existing law is to be enforced when it comes to same-sex couples.

'The governor is saying, 'We're not going to have a gay exception to that law,'' said Wolfson. 'He's not making new law, but he's squarely putting the moral authority of the New York State government on the side the state assembly's already taken –on the side of gay couples. And as you can see from all the coverage around the country, it's a big deal politically and culturally.'

©2008 Keen News Service

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


World news: LGBT Ugandans; Ireland and marriage; trans deaths 2015-11-24
Nat'l roundup: ACA cases; anti-trans petition; anti-LGBT companies; marriage 2015-11-17
Law-school event looks at Obergefell 2015-11-10
Marriage-equality architect Wolfson reflects, looks forward 2015-11-10
Report covers marriage, philanthropy 2015-11-04
World news: Fatal attack; blood ban ends; marriage news 2015-11-03
Outed Goshen candidate still does not support ordinance change 2015-11-01
Zopp: Duckworth inconsistent on marriage equality 2015-11-01
LGBT state leaders to confer on ongoing fight in a marriage equality world 2015-11-01
CELEBRATIONS Wedding: Shayna X Kramer and Larissa Sims 2015-10-28
Advocate Evan Wolfson on ending discrimination 2015-10-28
Attorney who helped defeat DOMA talks about Edie Windsor 2015-10-26
Then Comes Marriage: Kaplan lays it all to bare 2015-10-25
Treasury Department considers rule change reflecting marriage equality 2015-10-22
Victory Fund CEO talks organizing, post-marriage decision 2015-10-14
2015 CRFC Bill of Rights in Action award goes to marriage plaintiffs 2015-10-07
Plaintiff in Supreme Court case Obergefell writes open letter to Kim Davis 2015-10-01
Anti-LGBT pizzeria caters gay wedding 2015-09-29
Pope says government officials can refuse to issue licenses 2015-09-28
World: Marriage stalled; pro-LGBT move in Nepal; rugby partnership 2015-09-23
Obergefell to speak in Chicago Oct. 17 2015-09-23
Gov't: Ireland will recognize marriage 2015-09-23
Guest column: Ode to My Husband 2015-09-23
ACLU: Rowan County Clerk's Office failed to follow court orders 2015-09-21
Commission finds in favor of downstate couple 2015-09-19
Jim Obergefell 2015 HRC Chicago Gala speaker 2015-09-16
Relationships & the Law Today: Importance of estate planning 2015-09-16
Australia ousts Prime Minister who stood in way of marriage equality 2015-09-14
Judge releases Kim Davis, order instructs she not interfere 2015-09-08
U.S. District Court releases Kentucky clerk from custody 2015-09-08
Kentucky clerk jailed; couple get license 2015-09-04
Kentucky clerk refusing licenses ordered jailed 2015-09-03
Supreme Court denies KY County Clerk's request to refuse marriage licenses 2015-08-31
Federation of Gay Games honors Ireland for popular vote for marriage 2015-08-27
Together for 29 years, Hill and Jones leaving Chicago for Santa Fe 2015-08-26
News briefs: Marriage in MI; Clinton rally Sept. 20; College savings accounts 2015-08-25
Pro-marriage equality state Rep. Sullivan won't seek re-election 2015-08-24
Social Security will retroactively grant spousal benefits in Lambda case 2015-08-20
Marriage Equality and Social Justice 2015-08-19
AFER shutting down 2015-08-19

Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.