Top NY Court To Review Same- Sex Marriage Recognition

The anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund has gotten New York’s Court of Appeals to agree to review the state’s recognition of gay marriages from other jurisdictions.

The state’s highest court agreed on Tuesday to hear arguments in two cases that challenge New York’s recognition of same-sex marriages legally performed elsewhere. Lower courts have already sided with two government entities that revised their policies to honor the marriages, but those decisions were appealed by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian group that is waging multiple legal battles in New York to stop state and local entities from recognizing marriages of same-sex couples who were wed in places, like Massachusetts and Canada, where the ceremony is legal.

Neither case involved Gov. David A. Paterson’s directive last May that ordered state agencies to recognize legal same-sex marriages performed outside New York State. One case, Godfrey v. Spano, stems from the Westchester County executive’s 2006 decision to begin officially honoring out-of-state marriage licenses for gay couples the same way it did for heterosexual couples. The other case, Lewis v. New York State Department of Civil Service, was filed after the department agreed in 2007 to begin recognizing out-of-state, same-sex marriages for the purpose of extending health insurance to spouses of public employees.