New York Court Disappoints By Upholding Ban on Gay Marriage

Over the weekend, I received news that an appeals court in New York upheld a decision that bars a village mayor from conducting same-sex marriages.
Do you remember Jason West? He was the mayor of tiny New Palz, NY who, not long after Mayor Gavin Newsome (San Francisco) attempted to allow same sex couples the right to marry, joined suit and married several couples in his town.
A court quickly decided that he had overstepped his bounds, and voided those marriages. Mayor West says, according to CBS News that “he was upholding the gay couples’ constitutional rights to equal protection, and thus his oath of office, by allowing them to wed.”
Since this most recent ruling, Mayor West’s legal team has promised an appeal.
The road for equal marriage rights in New York certainly seems to be a long one since the current decision featured the unanimous decision of five judges, followed by agreement from Gov. Pataki and Attorney General Spitzer.
This morning, the road feels even longer when thinking about this morning’s announcement for President Bush’s most recent nominee, Samuel “Scalito” Alito, to the Supreme Court. By adding another conservative while male to the bench, the chances for an interpretation of the law (whether strict or broad) through a different worldview seem further off than ever.
One can only hope that the courts and the policitians will begin listening to the many Americans who believe that all Americans should be afforded equal rights (and that includes equal marriage rights) rather than the minority that, for some incomprehensible reason, wants to blame same-sex couples for the demise of marriage, when the track record of heterosexuals shows that traditional marriage is in trouble for different reasons altogether.
I feel disheartened by this recent news story, but will continue to remember how grateful I am for the significant progress achieved in Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut and for the little steps attained in places like Alaska (as mentioned in this same CBS story).
Meanwhile, we, at &, will continue to support couples who seek to celebrate their life-long commitments to each other and need resources and gay-friendly vendors to do so. One can never start soon enough to be “on the right side of history.”

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