Pro-Family Attorneys to Challenge N.Y. Ruling Recognizing Out-of-State Same-Sex ‘Marriages’

By Pete Winn | January 27, 2009 | 6:41 PM EST

New York Gov. David Patterson (AP photo)

( - Attorneys who defend traditional marriage are preparing an appeal of last week’s decision by a New York appeals court giving New York state officials a green-light to recognize same-sex “marriage” licenses issued outside of New York.
“We see this as a dangerous trend in which the people of New York are being forced to recognize -- and subsidize -- all kinds of out-of-state unions which their legislature has not chosen to recognize,” Alliance Defense Fund attorney Jim Campbell said.
The appellate court said that the head of the New York Department of Civil Service had the authority to order subordinates to treat out-of-state same-sex marriages just like traditional marriages – even though New York law doesn’t permit same-sex “marriage.”

But the order to recgonize same-sex "marriages" came from higher up the bureaucratic ladder -- it stemmed from New York Democratic Gov. David Patterson, Campbell said.   “The public policy of New York is that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, however, the court and these officials have seen fit to require the people to recognize these unions, which are at odds with many people’s values,” Campbell said.
The appellate decision will be appealed to the state’s highest court, the New York Court of Appeals.
“We have also filed a lawsuit on behalf of New York taxpayers challenging Gov.  Patterson’s directive recognizing same-sex unions as marriages,” Campbell told
The complaint alleged that the New York State Department of Civil Service acted illegally when it chose to redefine the term “spouse” to allow same-sex couples who were “wed” outside the state to receive state benefits.
Campbell said the appeals court decision doesn’t directly affect citizens of other states.
 “However, it does affect individuals coming from anywhere else where they can obtain a same-sex marriage out of state and then come into New York, so it does affect couples from Connecticut and Massachusetts,” Campbell told
Campbell added that the definition of marriage is “uniquely in the realm of the Legislature” – not state officials.
“By allowing executive officials and the judiciary to define marriage, we move away from the democratic principles on which our governments are based,” Campbell said.