NY Judge dismisses challenge to gay marriage recognition

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Judge Lucy Billings of the New York State Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday that challenged the decision made by New York Governor David Paterson to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. The lawsuit, brought by conservative Christian legal advocacy group Alliance Defense Fund [advocacy website], asked the court to declare that Governor Paterson's May 14, 2008 Executive Directive recognizing such marriages "contravenes New York law" and asked the court to "permanently enjoin the Directive's enforcement, because it exceeds the Governor's lawful authority." In dismissing the lawsuit, Judge Billings wrote
Governor Paterson's Executive Directive dated May 14, 2008, requiring state agencies to recognize same sex marriages legally solemnized in other jurisdictions is consistent with New York's common law, statutory law, and constitutional separation of powers regarding recognition of marriages legally solemnized outside New York. ... The court therefore denies the declaratory and injunctive relief sought by the amended petition and grants respondents' motions to dismiss this proceeding.
Governor Paterson's Executive Directive notes a February decision by an intermediate New York appellate court in Martinez v. County of Monroe  holding that legal same-sex marriages performed outside the state are entitled to recognition in New York. The memo was dated one day before the California Supreme Court overturned a state ban on same-sex marriage in In re Marriage Cases.

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