Angry New Yorker

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Governor Patterson, who when he isn't admitting affairs or getting eye surgery, seems to think that there are higher priorities than attending to NY's precarious financial situation and dysfunction in Albany. Apparently it's almost summer and the living's easy.... Not quite. But the Governor still has time to direct, according to, "all state agencies to revise policies in order to recognize same-sex marriages," with this decision apparently coming in response to "to California's decision earlier this month to legalize gay marriage."

Funny. Why a baldly activist 4-3 court decision in California, which hinged purely on the CA state constitution, should provide some sort of magical impetus for executive branch action in New York escapes us. More so because, as the New York Court of Appeals correctly put in back in 2006 in Hernandez v. Robles, "the New York Constitution does not compel recognition of marriages between members of the same sex. Whether such marriages should be recognized is a question to be addressed by the Legislature." The L-e-g-i-s-l-a-t-u-r-e. You know, the branch of our tripartite form of government that has the actual authority to pass legislation and make laws, such as those redefining marriage.

The Governor's clearly acted beyond his Constitutional authority here. But in New York it's so hard to actually tell, given the way laws, rules and regulations crafted in Albany are always "enforce for thee, but not for me."

UPDATE: Others have taken note of Paterson's overreaching:

Emperor of the Empire State

Bill Duncan from the Marriage Law Foundation calls the Paterson move "outrageous":

The legislature has had the opportunity to act and has not; the state's highest court rejected any claim that the state constitution requires it and now the governor has made an end run around these decisions by broadcasting that New York couples can go to California and get married, then return home and have those marriages recognized. His opinion, however, can only effect executive branch agencies and there are still a couple of cases pending in New York courts on whether the court system will recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages and whether recognition is mandated by law. The first of the cases to get to the appellate level ruled in favor of recognition but it will probably still be a while before that becomes a settled matter.

(h/t National Review Online)


Paterson’s unilateral action on same-sex ‘marriage’ bypasses the will of the people’s elected representatives

New York State Catholic Conference Executive Director Richard E. Barnes made the following statement today in response to Governor Paterson’s unilateral decision to recognize same-sex “marriage” in the state:

“The administrative action by Gov. Paterson compelling all state agencies to recognize same-sex ‘marriages’ performed in other states is an unwelcome bypassing of the state legislature. Unfortunately, this unilateral move without legislative input is not in keeping with Mr. Paterson’s promises upon taking office of a collaborative and bipartisan governing style.

“As we have said many times, the definition of marriage pre-dates recorded history. No single politician or court or legislature should attempt to redefine the very building block of our society in a way that alters its entire meaning and purpose. The state has a compelling interest in holding up marriage between one man and one woman as the societal model. What our biblical ancestors knew instinctively holds true today: Marriage between a man and a woman is the best way to assure the stable rearing of children and the flourishing of society. It should not be treated as simply one more lifestyle choice, equal to any other, because it is not.

“Homosexual men and women must be treated with dignity by all. In cases where unjust discrimination occurs, it must be remedied. However, 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.’ To use a distinctly New York expression, ‘It is what it is.’ ”

The Catholic Conference represents New York State’s Bishops in matters of public policy.

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