NY Court Upholds Marriage Recognition

Today the anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund lost their challenge to New York’s recognition of same-sex marriages performed outside the state. The AP reports:

New York’s top court has rejected a Christian legal group’s challenge to some government benefits provided to legally married same-sex couples living in New York. The court avoided declaring that same-sex couples are entitled to all the rights of other married couples in the ruling released Thursday. New York doesn’t allow same-sex marriage, so the ruling applies to couples married elsewhere. The case was pushed by the Alliance Defense Fund of Scottsdale, Ariz. In a written opinion, Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick warns the effect of the decision will be to allow an unworkable pattern of conflicting orders by public officials involving different benefits and rights.

The New York Times describes the ruling as a “narrow” and “small” victory for gay advocates as it applies only to the specifics of the case.

In their majority ruling, four of the seven members of the court said they were making their decision on narrow grounds involving the specifics of each case, and not settling the broader question of whether same-sex marriages performed in other states should be recognized. Judge Eugene F. Pigott Jr., writing for the majority, expressed “hope that the Legislature will address this controversy.” But Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, writing for the three-member minority, said “that the orders under review should be affirmed on the ground that same-sex marriages, valid where performed, are entitled to full legal recognition in New York under our state’s longstanding marriage recognition rule.” The ruling leaves open the possibility there could be future challenges on the issue in New York.

The NY Senate has not brought the issue to a vote in the special session called by Gov. Paterson, despite his demand that they do so.