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NY's highest court agrees to hear same-sex 'marriage' recognition suits

New York Court of Appeals grants review of ADF lawsuits
The 'Respect for Marriage Act' redefines marriage in American law and creates real harm for countless Americans.

ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, agreed Tuesday to hear two appeals filed by attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund in lawsuits against officials who have attempted to recognize out-of-state same-sex “marriages” in contradiction to state law.

“New York state and local officials shouldn’t recognize the laws of foreign jurisdictions when they conflict with state law,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Brian Raum.  “These officials have overstepped their authority in order to forward the agenda of special interest groups.”

ADF attorneys are arguing in Lewis v. New York State Department of Civil Service that the department illegally redefined the term “spouse” in order to extend marriage benefits to same-sex couples “wed” outside the state.  On behalf of New York taxpayers, ADF attorneys filed the suit in May 2007, arguing that the directive illegally replaces state law with laws from foreign jurisdictions at the expense of taxpayers and families who have not consented to it.

In Godfrey v. Spano, ADF attorneys argue that Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano illegally ordered county agencies to recognize out-of-state same-sex “marriages.”  In August 2006, ADF attorneys filed the suit to stop Spano from exceeding his constitutional authority.

ADF-allied attorney Jim Trainor is serving as local counsel on the Lewis v. New York State Department of Civil Service case.

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.