Thursday, July 06, 2006


Not in New York...

Well, it's official: those "activist judges" in New York are not activist enough. In a 4-to-2 vote, the New York State Court of Appeals, our state's highest court, decided this morning that New York's marriage law is constitutional and prohibits same-sex marriage.

The judges represent a 3-3 split between appointees of current Republican governor George Pataki and those of previous Democractic governor Mario Cuomo (the seventh judge, who recused himself because his daughter is a same-sex marriage advocate, is a Pataki appointees). The decision applies to four separate lawsuits, representing 44 same-sex couples. And I'll note that despite the headline (we know what headlines are there for), the court did not "rule against gay marriage"; it ruled on the details of the state's existing marriage law. In fact, it appears that the majority of the court personally agrees with the plaintiffs, but — and here's the thing — they are there to rule on the law and the constitution, not to be "activists", not to rule based on their personal beliefs.

I'm saddened by the result, as any regular reader here knows, but I respect that it's a fair reading of current law. It now goes to our state legislators to fix the problem for these 44 couples and the thousands like them. Says one plaintiff:

"My family deserves the same protections as my next door neighbors."
...and another:
"We haven't given up. We're in this for the long haul. If we can't get it done for us, we'll get it done for the people behind us."

OK, Sheldon Silver... it's your turn now. I know you've tried before; try again.

(Here's a link to the New York Times article.)

1 comment:

The Ridger said...

I'm sad, too. But I agree with you - it was probably a fair interpretation of current law.

I just hope we aren't the subject of amazed headshaking in 40 years, as the pre-Loving vs Virginia analog.