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New York Governor Memo Says State Agencies Must Recognize Gay “Marriage” Performed Outside the State

LifeSiteNews.com

By Peter J. Smith

ALBANY, New York, May 29, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The governor of New York has begun the process of easing New York into accepting same-sex “marriage” by ordering all state agencies to recognize homosexual nuptials performed outside New York as legal, even though the state constitution does not allow for them.

New York Democratic Gov. David Paterson directed all state agencies to revise their policies and regulations to recognize same-sex “marriages” as legal in New York State. The memo states that failure to do so could result in sanctions for violations of the state human rights law.

The directive released to agencies May 14, but not publicized at the time, is likely to affect over 1,300 statutes and regulations in New York. David Nocenti, the governor’s legal counsel, had informed agencies that they had until June 30 to have steps implemented to accommodate out-of-state gay “marriages.”

The decision taken without reference to New York’s legislature shows that Paterson intends to advance the homosexual agenda as aggressively as his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, who was recently disgraced in a prostitution scandal.  Spitzer introduced a bill to legalize same-sex “marriage,” which was passed by the Democratic-controlled Assembly, but died in the Republican-led Senate.

Paterson cited the basis of his directive on a February 1 decision by the Fourth Department of the State Supreme Court in Rochester, NY, in Martinez v. County of Monroe. The court ruled the county could not deny health benefits to Patricia Martinez, who works at Monroe Community College and obtained a homosexual “marriage” in Canada, because New York has a policy of recognizing marriages performed elsewhere “in the absence of express legislation to the contrary.”

Nocenti said that state agencies will have to construe “spouse,”“husband,” and “wife” in ways that “would encompass legal same-sex marriages.” Nocenti recommended a compendium of terms for statutes and regulations complied by the Bar of the City of New York and the Empire State Pride Agenda Foundation for this endeavor.

See the May 14 Nocenti memo to state agencies:
http://www.nyclu.org/files/Nocenti_Order_05.14.08.pdf

To read the February 1 Martinez v. County of Monroe decision:
http://www.nyclu.org/files/martinez_decision_020108.pdf

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