First a little history. Many of you may recall back that in 2004, San Fransisco Mayor, Gavin Newsom allowed gay couples to marry. As a result, in the state of NY, New Paltlz Mayor Jason West decided to do the same. Sadly, NYS decided to uphold it's ban on same sex marriages
the following year.
Since then, Massachusetts has recognized same sex marriage, and California has overturned it's ban on Gay marriages. Many states now recognize civil unions, which is a giant leap in the right direction. The biggest problem has been that these marriages are not recognized legally once a couple leaves the state. It seems as tho one man is changing that.
I am talking about David Paterson, the man who took the helm after Eliot Spizter had to leave office. He was never really meant to be the guy in charge of NYS. This man has taken a bold step forward. I think this approach makes sense, considering the situation. Please note that the bold face is mine. From the NYT:
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.
In a directive issued on May 14, the governor’s legal counsel, David Nocenti, instructed the agencies that gay couples married elsewhere “should be afforded the same recognition as any other legally performed union.”
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.
In a videotaped message given to gay community leaders at a dinner on May 17, Mr. Paterson described the move as “a strong step toward marriage equality.” And people on both sides of the issue said it moved the state closer to fully legalizing same-sex unions in this state.
Massachusetts and California are the only states that have legalized gay marriage, while others, including New Jersey and Vermont, allow civil unions. Forty-one states have laws limiting marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Legal experts said Mr. Paterson’s decision would make New York the only state that did not itself allow gay marriage but fully recognized same-sex unions entered into elsewhere.
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.
The Constitution of the United states of America, states:Article IV, Section 2:
The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
What Patterson is doing is a precedent. I know that Canada is not a state, but in this line of thinking, regarding the definition of *several* it would be fair to include states like Vermont, New Jersey, and New Hampshire. Whatever those states grant couples, NYS will grant as well. It is in the constitution, it is a state right. The privileges of some become the privileges of all.
What I predict is that we wiil see in the coming months, many states adopt this policy. The flood gates will open. If you are fortunate enough to have a governor with a *D* next to their name, I urge you to call or write them a letter and ask them to do the same.
I think we will see in our day couples having the same rights equally and NOT different. The tides are turning. if things keep moving this way, the defense of Marriage Act
will become something to be tossed into the dustbin of history. Until then, NYS will recognize you
as a couple, whoever you. Good on you accidental Governor.