N.Y. LAWS WEAVE A TANGLED WEB
New Paltz, N.Y.,
March 28, 2004: As reported in the New York Times today, a
very brave mayor, Jason West, of New Paltz, the small town up the
Hudson from the Apple, has always supported liberal causes. So
it may have come as no surprise to those who knew him when he
checked out state law, found a weird contradiction, and started
marrying gay couples in February.
The quirky laws state that an official, including
a mayor, cleryman or J.P., could marry a couple, and that no
marriage license is needed. On the other hand, the tricky
little laws also make marriage illegal without a license. As the
Times article notes, Mr. West consulted Spencer McLaughlin, on the
Human Rights Commission when Ed Koch was mayor of New York, for an
opinion. Mr. McLaughlin informed Mr. West that while the law
said you can't perform a same sex wedding, it did not specify
whether an official should
or not .
Now, since Mayor
West, a straight man, always believed folks should marry whomever
they chose, he decided he was within his rights and got 25
ceremonies completed before the local law enforcers charged him with
conducting weddings without a license.
Concurrent with the
human marriages taking place in New Paltz, Reverend Herman Proudfoot,
Head of the Houndstooth Adventist Church of
was also conducting same sex NIPtual rights. Cats, dogs,
horses, cows, chickens, spiders and frogs from the surrounding towns
converged on the town to solidify their commitments to each other.
has not yet been charged, and is still helping happy couples join
hooves, paws, claws and pads. While blissful, those who have
not yet had their vows sanctified are watching with baited breath.
"Any day we expect John Law to snap a leash onto the Reverend,"
Jenny Springer, a beautiful spaniel, told us. "He's performing
as many as 50 ceremonies a day," she added, "trying to keep one step
ahead of the dog catcher. We're all praying for his continued
ability to remain free and able to marry all who wish to join paws."
We know you join us
in supporting the townsfolk in their wish. You can show your
support by sending a note in the box below.
On a similar note:
Please take a moment to participate in our continuing survey on whether
Caesar, the 26 year old childless gorilla, should be allowed to wed
his new male companion (click here to read
March 27 FUPPPS editorial for the whole story):
FUPPPS Editorial Board