There's a glimmer of hope in New York.. =p in other states, Massachuettes (sp?) had already ruled FOR gay marriage..
9 Dec 2005
New York Times
Court Voids Ruling Backing Gay Marriage
An appellate court yesterday reversed a lower court ruling that would
have permitted same-sex marriage in New York City.
By a 4-1 majority, the appellate panel not only rejected the lower
court's ruling that state law forbidding same-sex marriage was
unconstitutional, but said that the state had a legitimate and rational
interest in promoting heterosexual marriage.
The majority's 20-page decision offered a ringing defense of
heterosexual marriage, which the court portrayed as an important way of
ensuring child welfare and social stability.
"Marriage promotes sharing of resources between men, women and the
children that they procreate," said the panel of the Appellate Division
of State Supreme Court. "It is based on the presumption that the
optimal situation for child-rearing is having both biological parents
present in a committed, socially esteemed relationship."
Moreover, the panel said, decisions about the legitimacy of same-sex
marriage are more properly left to the Legislature.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg reiterated yesterday that he was personally
in favor of permitting same-sex marriage, and that the city had
appealed the lower court decision only as a way of clarifying the law.
"As I have said, this issue should be decided by the state's highest
court, and I assume today's decision will be appealed," Mr. Bloomberg
said in a written statement. "If today's decision is affirmed by the
Court of Appeals, I will urge the Legislature to change the State's
Domestic Relations Law to permit gay marriage."
Susan L. Sommer, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, confirmed that they would
The suit was filed by a gay and lesbian rights group, Lambda Legal
Defense and Education Fund, on behalf of five same-sex couples in New
York City, against the city clerk, Victor L. Robles, who issues
Daniel Hernandez, 48, the lead plaintiff along with his partner, Nevin
Cohen, said yesterday that he was "incredibly disappointed" by the
He said it had been depressing to go to oral arguments in the case, in
which the city's lawyers, arguing that same-sex marriage was against
the law, "treated our relationships as though they were insignificant
and not these really strong, loving relationships that people in our
Ms. Sommer said that while there were other challenges to the state's
marriage law pending in other jurisdictions, the decision yesterday
appeared to put this lawsuit on track to be the first to reach the high
Because the suit argues state issues rather than federal ones, she
said, it will not go to the United States Supreme Court.
The decision overturned a Feb. 7 ruling by Justice Doris Ling-Cohan of
State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Justice Ling-Cohan found that state
marriage law violated the due process and equal protection clauses of
the State Constitution. She permanently enjoined the city from denying
a marriage license to any couple on the ground that they were of the
same sex, a decision that has been stayed pending the appeals.
The panel also overturned Justice Ling-Cohan's ruling that
gender-specific terms in state marriage law, such as "husband, "wife,"
"groom" and "bride," should be construed to apply equally to men and
The definition of marriage now enshrined in state law, "expresses an
important, long-recognized public policy supporting, among other
things, procreation, child welfare and social stability - all
legitimate state interest," the appellate majority said.
Ms. Sommer, the lawyer, took issue with the court's contention that
marriage law was a matter for the Legislature to decide, comparing it
to other civil rights issues. "If the Legislature doesn't live up to
its duty, it's entirely the role of the courts in a constitutional
democracy to step in and protect individuals and minorities," she said.
She said that while the appellate division might be appealing to
tradition, there was nothing sacrosanct about tradition, which has
evolved over time. "Not so long ago, marriage was viewed legally and
culturally as a patriarchal institution in which the husband
essentially owned his wife as chattel," Ms. Sommer said.
She said that to say that state law intended marriage to protect the
conception and raising of children flew in the face of state law that
"completely acknowledges and supports the rights of same-sex couples to
State Senator Thomas Duane of Lower Manhattan, who has sponsored a bill
to legalize same-sex marriage, said yesterday that the Senate and
Assembly leaders had indicated that they would not push legislation to
override court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage.