• Text smaller
  • Text bigger

Mirroring the defiance of San Francisco officials, the 26-year-old mayor of a New York college town says he will perform up to a dozen same-sex marriage ceremonies today.

Jason West, mayor of New Paltz, about 75 miles north of New York City, contends he is obligated to issue the licenses to homosexual couples because the state law on marriage says nothing about gender, and New York’s constitution requires equal protection.

“We as a society have no right to discriminate in marriage any more than we have the right to discriminate when someone votes or when someone wants to hold office,” West said, according to the Associated Press.

San Francisco, under Mayor Gavin Newsom’s order, issued the first officially sanctioned marriage licenses to same-sex couples in American history Feb. 12. More than 3,400 ceremonies have been conducted since then. Attorney General Bill Lockyer is asking the state Supreme Court today for its opinion. Last week, New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid intervened to stop a clerk in Bernalillo, N.M., who began issuing licenses to same-sex couples.

Evoking a civil rights-era icon, New Paltz’s West compared opponents of same-sex marriage to “those who would have made Rosa Parks sit in the back of the bus,” the AP said.

Yesterday, however, the New York state Health Department weighed in on the issue, stating the law forbids same-sex marriage and that state court decisions have restricted marriage to a man and a woman.

“A municipal clerk who issues a marriage license outside these guidelines, and any person who solemnizes such a marriage, would be violating state law and subject to the penalties in law,” the department’s statement said.

But West told CNN today it’s his opinion that for a marriage to be valid, it only needs to be solemnized by the proper authority.

“I’m fully able to do that,” he said.

New York’s attorney general has not addressed the issue. The New York legislature is considering a ban on same-sex marriage, similar to legislation passed by at least 37 states.

Earlier this week, President Bush announced support for a federal marriage amendment

Related articles:

Action filed to remove S.F. mayor, AG

Bush announces support for marriage amendment

Arnold: Terminate same-sex marriage

‘Anarchy is breaking loose across America’

Same-sex wedding officiant ‘arrested’

Faulty forms to void same-sex marriages?

Judges allow same-sex marriages to continue

Judge delays same-sex marriage ruling

Schwarzenegger urged to arrest S.F. mayor

Same-sex weddings proceed unhindered

Lawsuit challenges homosexual ‘marriages’

San Francisco officials marry same-sex couple

San Francisco mayor defies ‘gay’-marriage ban

60% of polled Americans:
No homosexual marriage

It’s ‘gay’ marriage in Massachusetts

Poll: Massachusetts opposes ‘gay’ marriage

‘Gay’ marriage ruling’s consequences ‘dire’

‘Gay’ marriage ban struck down in Massachusetts

Bush to block ‘gay’ marriage

Poll suggests backlash on ‘gay’ issues

Court strikes down Texas sodomy law

Supreme Court hears ‘right to sodomy’ case

High court to give ‘gays’ their own ‘Roe’?


Special offer:

WorldNetDaily’s acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine takes a powerfully insightful look at the institution of marriage – and the rapidly expanding movement to radically redefine, and many say, destroy it.

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.