2006_07_courtappeals.jpgThe NY State Court of Appeals ruled that gay marriage is not allowed. The Court of Appeals heard a NYC case in which Judge Doris Ling-Cohan ruled that gay marriage was allowed. The city appealed, and the case made it way up to the highest court in the state. Here's the ruling (PDF) and here's some of what it says:

We hold that the New York Constitution does not compel recognition of marriages between members of the same sex. Whether such marriages should be recognized is a question to be addressed by the Legislature.

...We hold, in sum, that the Domestic Relations Law's limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples is not unconstitutional. We emphasize once again that we are deciding only this constitutional question. It is not for us to say whether same-sex marriage is right or wrong. We have presented some (though not all) of the arguments against same-sex marriage because our duty to defer to the Legislature requires us to do so. We do not imply that there are no persuasive arguments on the other side -- and we know, of course, that there are very powerful emotions on both sides of the question.

The dissenters assert confidently that "future generations" will agree with their view of this case (dissenting op at 28). We do not predict what people will think generations from now, but we believe the present generation should have a chance to decide the issue through its elected representatives. We therefore express our hope that the participants in the controversy over same-sex marriage will address their arguments to the Legislature; that the Legislature will listen and decide as wisely as it can; and that those unhappy with the result -- as many undoubtedly will be -- will respect it as people in a democratic state should respect choices democratically made.

The Court of Appeals rejected gay marriage 4-2, with Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye (you may remember her from the jury videos) writing the dissent:

This State has a proud tradition of affording equal rights to all New Yorkers. Sadly, the Court today retreats from that proud tradition.

...It is uniquely the function of the Judicial Branch to safeguard individual liberties guaranteed by the New York State
Constitution, and to order redress for their violation. The Court's duty to protect constitutional rights is an imperative of the separation of powers, not its enemy.

I am confident that future generations will look back on today's decision as an unfortunate misstep.

Well, Mayor Bloomberg, during the Gay Pride Parade, you said that you'd go to Albany and lobby for gay marriage if the courts rejected it. When are you going?

And Lambda Legal had be representing the gay couples in the case - here's their website about it.

Update: Aha - a statement from Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno:

I have previously stated that I am opposed to gay marriages because I believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. The Court of Appeals made the right decision in upholding the state law that relates to this issue.

Should be interesting to see what happens when Eliot Spitzer (probably) becomes Governor.