Same-Sex Marriage Opponent To File Lawsuit Against Paterson


A lawyer for the national Alliance Defense Fund said today that his group plans to file a lawsuit next week against Gov. David Paterson over his directive to recognize same-sex marriages in New York.

“We’re definitely going to file an action against the governor,” said Brian Raum, senior legal counsel for the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, which opposes same-sex marriage, told Gannett News Service.

“What he has done is completely outside of his authority.”

Other groups, including the Coalition To Save Marriage In New York, are expected to join the lawsuit against Paterson, who this week revealed a directive he issued in mid-May to state agencies telling them to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and nations.

Advocates say Paterson is well within his legal rights to make the move, and the state started offering health benefits last year to gay couples in state and local governments.

“What the governor did is in no way radical or stepping out ahead of the state,” said Susan Sommer, a lawyer with the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. “What the governor is doing is simply following what is now very well established law.”

Paterson has used the same argument, saying that the state would be liable if he didn’t recognize same-sex marriage when it comes to state workers and state policies.

“What I’m trying to do is to accommodate the fact that if I didn’t take action, I would leave these state open to lawsuits. I would open the state treasury open to monetary damages,” Paterson said yesterday. “And I would be discriminating against individuals who come here from other jurisdictions.”

The governor’s communications director Risa Heller has not returned calls seeking comment on the pending lawsuit.


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  1. I think these people need to mind their own business. Allowing gays to marry will not adversely affect anyone.

  2. With marriage come rights and responsibilities. Defining marriage in law to include same-sex couples can only strengthen society by broadening marriage’s stabilizing and domesticating effects.

  3. Extending the 14th amendment to gay marriage will make a case for plural marriage, and many, many other kinds. Civil Unions are fine, benefits etc., but marriages? No.

    I suppose its alright if one state wants to do it, because those who disagree could move elsewhere, but when a State like New York starts recognizing out of state marraiges, we will have a similar situation with abortion in the 70s and the Federal Government will come butting its nose into the picture and force its will of some states on to the others.

    This of course would lead to a legal challenge, and if the Supreme Court does step in and declare it constitutional, whose to say that churches will not then be forced to issue marriage licenses to gay couples for fear of discrimination lawsuits? I can see it now.

    So much for strict constructionists. The definition of marriage, state’s rights, and seperate of church and state just don’t mean what they used to.

  4. As a New Yorker, I would like to say how proud I am of the courage Governor Paterson has shown in working to make the civil right of state-recognized marriage available to all adult persons here, not just to the heterosexual majority. This state has been a mecca for peoples from across the globe and from every minority. Let the light of Liberty shine forth for ALL peoples herein, not just the straight folks.

  5. Mmmm….the “talking points” gay advocates are out today. Paterson will lose. And he should lose. Who elected him governor anyway? Oh that’s right. NO ONE did.

  6. Does the more feminine one get to keep the house after the divorce, the way we do it? Zsa Zsa Gabor’s twelve husbands all agreed that she was an excellent housekeeper. After every divorce, she kept the house.

  7. The Governor’s actions are disgraceful. He knows full well that he is usurping the legislature. The matter has not yet been fully adjudicated by the courts as there is conflicting decisions in the 4 appellate districts. The case Martinez v. Monroe County was under appeal to New York’s top court, the Court of Appeals which dismissed the appeal on a technicality and sent the case back to the appeals court to decide on the issue of damages. Once this is complete, the appeal can be renewed. Furthermore, there are other similar cases making their way to the top court. The Governor’s action was a political power grab which violates the separation of powers between the executive branch and the legislative branch. Why is he afraid of the people? If there is such strong support for homosexual marriage, put it to a referendum. Let the people decide.

    As to the claims of strong support for homosexual marriage on Long Island, Daniel O’Donnell must have forgot about the failed effort to pass a domestic partnership registry in Nassau County two years ago. As to Craig Johnson, if he believes that the people in his district strongly support his position, why has he kept it off his state website. We have asked him to publicize it.

    The homosexual extremists lost before the Court of Appeals in 2006. It was clear that the court addressed this issue.

    Specifically the court stated, “First, the Legislature could rationally decide that, for the welfare of children, it is more important to promote stability, and to avoid instability, in opposite-sex than in same-sex relationships…. The Legislature could [also] rationally believe that it is better, other things being equal, for children to grow up with both a mother and a father. Intuition and experience suggest that a child benefits from having before his or her eyes, every day, living models of what both a man and a woman are like.”

    “The idea that same-sex marriage is even possible is a relatively new one. Until a few decades ago, it was an accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between participants of different sex. A court should not lightly conclude that everyone who held this belief was irrational, ignorant or bigoted. We do not so conclude.”