NY Governor Paterson: Same-Sex Marriages To Be Recognized genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Uncivil Unions

In a move that is sure to keep same-sex marriage in the media spotlight, New York Governor David Paterson has issued a directive requiring the state of New York to recognize same-sex marriages from those states and countries where they have been allowed. The governor argues that the move is consistent with long standing New York law...law that has always required recognition of marriages from other jurisdictions.

From The New York Times:

ALBANY -- Gov. David A. Paterson has directed all state agencies to begin to revise their policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, like Massachusetts, California and Canada.

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.

The directive cited a Feb. 1 ruling by a State Appellate Court in Rochester that Patricia Martinez, who works at Monroe Community College and who married her partner in Canada, could not be denied health benefits by the college because of New York's longstanding policy of recognizing marriages performed elsewhere, even if they are not explicitly allowed under New York law. The appeals court said that New York must recognize marriages performed in other states that allow the practice and in countries that permit it, like Canada and Spain.

Monroe County filed an appeal with the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, but it was rejected on technical grounds. The county has not decided whether to file another appeal, a county spokesman said on Wednesday. The Court of Appeals has previously ruled that the state's Constitution did not compel the recognition of same-sex marriages and that it was up to the Legislature to decide whether do so.

In the larger picture, the move may be part and parcel of a tipping point in the battle over same-sex marriage. At the very least, this action coupled with the ruling of the California Supreme Court, may lead opponents of same-sex marriage to reconsider their opposition to the granting of any of the same rights that are currently afforded to heterosexual marriages.

Until now, opponents of same-sex marriage have been able to ignore the granting of reasonable rights to same-sex couples by placing their focus on same-sex marriage as a threat to the institution and the family. The latest polling in California seems to suggest that more and more citizens are shifting their views on same-sex unions. That shift, assisted by the Supreme Court ruling, may indicate that the issue of equality is beginning to eclipse the fomenting of fear that has been the cornerstone of the religious right's efforts to deny any recognitions that might legitimize homosexuality.

I've long argued that a majority of Americans are ultimately fair minded...though they are frequently slow to shed fears that can prevent them from making objective conclusions. In the case of homosexuality, the religious right has sought to cloak their hatred and bigotry as a simple adherence to morality. Unfortunately, more and more citizens are able to recognize the true agenda of those opposed to same-sex marriage...which is actually an effort to prevent the codifying of any gay rights.

The fact that gays have sought the full array of rights has, to a degree, allowed the religious right the leeway to disguise their agenda as well as distort the agenda of the gay community. That dynamic has served to heighten fears and relegate a rational discussion of basic rights to the back burner.

While I'm concerned that the California ruling has the potential to initiate a backsliding or a backlash against gays, the ruling of the court, coupled with Governor Paterson's clearly articulated justification for granting basic rights and recognitions to same-sex couples, may be the point at which fair Americans realize that they can't allow their reservations about homosexuality to be the impetus to deny rights to their fellow citizens.

The following video is today's announcement by the Governor detailing the directive and the rationale by which it has been issued.

Tagged as: California, Civil Unions, Equality, Gay Marriage, Governor Paterson, LGBT, Massachusetts, New York, Same-Sex Marriage

Daniel DiRito | May 29, 2008 | 10:49 AM
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Comments

1 On May 29, 2008 at 3:33 PM, Rachel wrote —

I liked your post. I think there has been some nervous hype about how the gay marriage thing will mess up the election, but some research I've done seems like it will blow over. This article http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/politics/May-June-08/New-York-Will-Recognize-Gay-Marriages-from-out-of-State.html which tries to do some background and related information, seems to give a positive impression as well, especially the bit that covers an NPR piece. Essentially, maybe McCain won't be the guy to push for banning of gay marriage.

2 On May 30, 2008 at 4:08 PM, daniel wrote —

Rachel,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and providing the link.

I certainly hope the GOP isn't able to use same-sex marriage as a tool to motivate their voters. Even if they do, I'm hopeful that the Democrats are still more energized to finally win back the White House. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Regards,

Daniel

3 On August 18, 2011 at 8:20 AM, Charlie Gay wrote —

Anyone not Obama is better in anything. America shouldn't have fallen for the sweet talk.

Thought Theater at Blogged

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