Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Town Mayor Arrested Over Gay Marriages

New Paltz, NY hasn't gotten quite the attention that San Francisco has, not least because of its size. But the mayor of this small New York town on the Hudson, not far from NYC, has been "solemnizing" same-sex marriages without issuing the couples licenses. The basic legal issues are somewhat different in this case, but the broader issues, of course, remain the same. Here's a bit from this morning's Wall Street Journal:

Mr. West performed wedding ceremonies for 25 gay couples on Friday, making him the second mayor in the country to perform same-sex marriages. More than 3,400 couples have been married in San Francisco.

Mr. West has insisted his actions were legal.

Mr. Williams said he believed Mr. West was served with a summons by New Paltz police that would require him to report to town court. He said the charges do not judge whether gay marriage is legal in New York, only that the weddings were performed without a marriage license.


State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said he will decide this week whether New York law allows gay marriage.
I keep waiting for the damn to break on this. If a small but critical mass of mayors and county clerks pick up this bit of civil disobedience it's just possible that the process will gain enough momentum to become the de-facto norm. Then, with thousands of married same-sex couples all around the country, the genie will be much harder to stuff back into the bottle.

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