NY Recognizes Gay Marriage, And Lawmakers Are Not Happy

by AMANDA MELILLO · June 2, 2008

Gay MarriageSo maybe you've heard by now, but Governor Paterson has slipped a policy regarding gay marriage under the noses of state legislators and now the right wing is NOT HAPPY. The governor singlehandedly passed a directive that makes state agencies honor same-sex marriages performed outside of the state of New York where gay marriage is not legal—and everyone else found out two weeks later. Umm….!!!

I'm self-admittedly no legal expert in any regard, and vaguely understand the implications that this would have on changing on amending hundred or thousands of laws already engraved on big stone slabs somewhere in the state house. I suppose the problem with government, when it begins to grow arms of bureaucracy, is that in order to follow all the rules that have been made, you sometimes do a lot of things that don't make logical sense.

In my mind, recognizing marriages performed in other states, even same-sex marriages, makes logical sense. Because basically that would mean that if a same-sex couple came to visit New York, and one of them got injured and had to go to the hospital, their partner would not be allowed to visit them in the hospital room if the state does not recognize their marriage—even though it's perfectly legal in their home state. (This is also one of those times when I think having state-by-state laws on issues like this is kind of senseless also.)

So yes, maybe Governor Paterson wasn't being bureaucratic enough, and wasn't observing the political niceties of policy-making, but the policy makes sense to me. But now the Republicans that don't support same-sex marriages are REALLY in an uproar. Like Queens Senator Serphin R. Maltese, who the New York Times said

"was puzzled to Mr. Paterson's decision to move unilaterally on the same-sex issue with only weeks left in the legislative session and other complex measures, like aid to homeowners who face foreclosure, remaining on the table."

So basically Republicans argue that he should have waited until the next session even though California is acting NOW. But what kills me is the knowledge that they would probably prefer to be arguing over whether New York should recognize gay marriage—not legalize it to be performed here, but just RECOGNIZE it—rather than try to find solutions to problems like homeowner foreclosures.

Note to lawmakers: It seems to me that we have a lot of big, big problems facing us right now, and you have two weeks to go before your vacation. I would think considering the state of the economy and Albany's spending and the housing market going into the tank, there are some things that need to be fixed and lawmakers are the ones who have to do it. Please prioritize. I don't think this is the time to worry about how to continue legalizing your homophobia.