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ADF appeals decision to uphold NY governor’s same-sex ‘marriage’ directive

Gov. Paterson’s mandate orders state agencies to honor out-of-state same-sex ‘marriages’ in violation of state law
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NEW YORK — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund submitted their notice of appeal Monday contesting a New York judge’s decision to uphold an illegal directive from Gov. David Paterson.  The directive orders state agencies to recognize same-sex “marriages” from outside jurisdictions even though same-sex “marriage” is not legal under New York law.

“New York’s marriage laws should be respected over the laws of foreign jurisdictions,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Brian Raum.  “This is not about discrimination.  This is about the future of marriage being decided by the legislature and the people, not by executives having no authority to issue directives that conflict with New York’s public policy.  The governor is not above the law.”

On May 14, Paterson issued an executive directive ordering all state agencies to review their policy statements, regulations, and statutes “to ensure that terms such as ‘spouse,’ ‘husband,’ and ‘wife’ are construed in a manner that encompasses legal same-sex marriages.”  The directive instructs agencies to extend all the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples “married” elsewhere, including California, Massachusetts, and Canada.

“This radical redefinition of marriage ordered by the governor without the consent of the governed not only assaults the democratic process, but undermines the promotion of strong families,” added Raum.  “Under New York law, same-sex ‘marriages’ are not considered marriages.  Therefore, they cannot be protected under the common law rule that the judge used to justify the governor’s directive.  We look forward to making our case on appeal.”

ADF attorneys originally filed suit on behalf of New York lawmakers and taxpayers on June 3, arguing that the governor acted beyond his authority in issuing the directive and that implementation of it will cause a wrongful expenditure of taxpayer funds in a state where same-sex “marriage” is not legal.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.